The first day of the fall semester is always an event at Fresno Pacific University.

Classes begin Monday, August 27, 2018, on the main campus at 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno, and very early estimates show a healthy enrollment. But the excitement of welcoming of students and parents has been going strong for days.

Orientation began Wednesday, August 22, with events for resident and commuter students and/or their parents including music and games and an overnight trip to Hume Lake Christian Camp. “Students are connecting with one another and faculty members through collegium groups that will support their success throughout their first year,” said Jon Endicott, vice president for enrollment management and student services. “Students who get to know one another, their teachers and others at the university are more likely to enjoy their time, persist and graduate.”

As of Thursday, August 23, 236 freshmen had registered, up from 205 at this time last year. Endicott got to be a student Dad himself as one of his children joined the Sunbird flock. “It was nice to survey the other parents and hear their reactions. Far and away the comments were very positive,” he said.

The overall goal for traditional undergraduate students is 1,010; as of Thursday that number was 990, with registration appointments with returning, transfer and international students still underway. “So, 1,010 looks very doable,” Endicott said.

Bachelor’s degree completion enrollment is above the goal at 1,858 students. The goal was 1,755. These students are working adults who attend online or at FPU’s four regional campuses in Merced, Bakersfield, North Fresno and Visalia. 

Graduate student numbers are also on target, with 1,217 students registered for a total of 9,402 units. The goal is 9,816 units with registration continuing through the first week of the semester. Official enrollment figures will be available after the 11-day census.