ETSU new student enrollment, graduation rate and employee satisfaction at record highs

Published 12:01 pm Monday, September 19, 2022

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JOHNSON CITY — Officials at East Tennessee State University received a glowing report card for the university today, with leaders announcing that new student enrollment, graduation rates and employee satisfaction are all at historic highs.
During a quarterly meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees, ETSU administrators shared final enrollment numbers for the fall 2022 semester. The university is celebrating its largest incoming class in a decade at 2,056 students — a 25% increase in the past two years. Overall enrollment increased by 195 students over last year, with total headcount enrollment, including undergraduate, graduate, pharmacy and medical students, reaching 13,738. The university’s graduation rate is the highest in the school’s history, with 55% of students graduating within six years.
“For too long, ETSU was one of the state’s best-kept secrets,” President Dr. Brian Noland said. “Fortunately, that is starting to change. Increasingly, people across the country recognize ETSU as a destination institution, with world-class faculty, affordable tuition rates, stellar employment outcomes and a rich student experience — all within the breathtaking mountains of the Appalachian Highlands.”
U.S. News and World Report recently ranked ETSU in the top 100 colleges in the nation for students graduating with the least amount of student debt. In just the past week, the university has earned national recognition in the field of geosciences, won a federal grant to support first-generation students, confirmed its receipt of the prestigious ABET accreditation in engineering, and secured $1.25 million in funding to enhance education in rural school systems.
Also, in the past seven days, ETSU launched the Institute for Appalachian Music and Culture, unveiled a new tool to fight substance abuse nationally and kicked off efforts to establish the first substance abuse recovery center in Northeast Tennessee.
Employees, too, are showing strong support for the college. Last month, Forbes magazine and Statista recognized ETSU as one of the best employers in Tennessee. During today’s board meeting, Noland shared results from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Best Colleges to Work For” survey, which revealed that ETSU employees ranked their experience significantly higher than the national average.
ETSU scored 76% in overall job satisfaction and support, 3% higher than last year and well above the 70% average for other R2 Carnegie Research Classification institutions across the country. ETSU employee satisfaction increased in every category compared to the previous year, and ETSU outperformed the national benchmark in every dimension. For example, in terms of faculty and staff well-being, ETSU scored 81% compared to a national average of 75%. Confidence in senior leadership was rated at 69% at ETSU compared to 57% nationally. In the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging category, ETSU received 77% compared to 70% on average.
Materials, minutes and meeting schedules for the ETSU Board of Trustees are available at

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