President Nicklow Reports Historic 2023 Enrollment Surge

In State of the University Address, John Nicklow Talks Strategic Planning, New Student Housing and More

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Driven by Florida Tech’s outstanding academics, stellar reputation, top-notch facilities and unparalleled career opportunities for graduates, a record cohort of incoming students started classes at the Melbourne university this fall, President John Nicklow told faculty and staff Wednesday morning in his inaugural State of the University address.

Speaking before hundreds gathered at Gleason Performing Arts Center, Nicklow also offered updates on strategic visioning and planning efforts, plans to explore expanded student housing and the implementation of an enhanced approach to student success.

Among his first topics, Nicklow shared historic numbers related to Florida Tech’s fall enrollment of incoming students – that’s first-year students and transfers.

The school welcomed 1,044 freshmen and transfers, with freshmen hailing from 52 countries and 45 U.S. states. This is the first incoming group that has exceeded 1,000 students since the university was founded in 1958 and it is up nearly 8 percent from fall 2022 and 14 percent from fall 2021.

“Florida Tech is evolving and as a result, the university is becoming more and more desirable to the newest generations of college-bound students, especially those interested in science and engineering,” Nicklow previously said.

He added on Wednesday, “Total enrollment is nearly 9,700 students – that’s a great place for Florida Tech to be.”

The student surge is not accidental. Florida Tech enrollment and marketing leaders have worked to broaden awareness and highlight the university’s reputation though powerful multimedia campaigns across TV, print and social media platforms. The efforts worked, as Florida Tech received 14,900 undergraduate applications, a record high.

Additional highlights from the president’s address:

Strategic Planning and Visioning: The university is well underway with efforts to craft a strategic plan that will serve as a creative and powerful roadmap for Vision 2040, Florida Tech’s ambitious, overarching statement that describes the future position of the university and will guide actions in key areas.

Anchored by a 40-person steering committee, the process has captured feedback from more than 1,200 voices as part of this process, including hundreds of students, faculty and staff as well as leaders in the business community. As this intensive planning concludes this fall, the university will collaborate with consultants to further refine the mission, vision and values, with the Board of Trustees set to review and approve the material in January 2024.

Student Housing: As enrollment grows, Florida Tech must increase its housing. Nicklow announced Wednesday that the university has retained the consultancy of Brailsford and Dunlavey to help develop the housing initiative. The initial focus is on a public-private partnership, or P3.

“From there, we’ll begin seeing what is feasible to add contemporary student housing – where and by when,” Nicklow said. “Stay tuned.”

Other items:

  • Student Success: Florida Tech has launched a new student advising model designed to provide undergraduates with support and guidance to meet their academic, professional and career goals.  Professional advisors are assigned to students at the time of admission and will remain with those students through graduation. These advisors will monitor academic performance and support student success in general, working collaboratively with students, faculty, and all members of the campus community.
  • Facilities Improvements: With an eye toward modernization and sustainability in university facilities, Florida Tech is exploring a partnership to help optimize facilities operations while reducing costs and highlighting sustainability.
  • Provost Search: The university received 76 applications for the job of provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and the campus search committee led by interim provost Hamid Rassoul has culled that group to several semi-finalists. Interviews are ongoing and finalists may visit campus as soon as November. The target hire date is January 2024.

“So where do we go from here?” Nicklow asked as he concluded his remarks. “I know the potential is boundless for Florida Tech. Teamwork will be key—all pulling together in one direction means progress.

“It’s also vital that we believe in something bigger than ourselves and our jobs; think about the impact that we have on lives, on families, and indeed the vitality of this entire region,” he added. “That’s so powerful.”

President Nicklow on new housing.
President Nicklow on student advising enhancements.

President Nicklow on the value of teamwork.
Show More
Back to top button