College uses music to increase enrollment

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - With educational programs being cut nationwide, some universities are trying to find new ways to increase enrollment. William Carey University is using the art of music in hopes of attracting new students.

"Music touches the heart of mankind, and I don't ever think we will become too sophisticated that we won't want to hear music," said William Carey President Tommy King.

The concert was two-fold. Administrators hope to entertain and attract new prospects to William Carey University.

"I'm a William Carey Scholar which includes a full ride and a trip to London," said Charley Tynes.

Tynes is a second year student at the Hattiesburg campus.

"I was looking for a good school that I would be comfortable in, in my values and my beliefs, and I found that in Carey," said Tynes.

Tynes is a general studies major who plans to focus on religion. He's not worried about getting a job in the slumping economy and neither are his peers.

"Music education is very important to me. There are always opportunities to teach, so I am always optimistic," said senior Jillian Breland.

In fact, administrators say enrollment is up.

"We have experienced growth every since Hurricane Katrina," said Jerry Bracey. "Normally when the economy is a little bit down, people go back to school. It helps them find a job, and it helps them with promotion opportunities."

The school is continuing to plan for increased enrollment.

Development of a new $15 million campus is in its final stages. And while leaders are building to suit the needs of nearly 1,000 students, there are already plans to serve more than 3,000 students over the next few years.

School leaders say construction of William Carey University at Tradition is expected to be complete by July of this year. They hope to start classes at the new campus in the fall.