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While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for some colleges to recruit new students, Defiance College has defied the ordinary with a 20% increase in freshmen enrollment. This marks the highest incoming class in five years. Graduate programs are similarly booming with a 55% increase in student enrollment since 2019.

“Defiance College is a top academic institution that truly cares about students as individuals,” said Defiance College vice president for enrollment management Tracey Dysart Ford. “Our faculty and staff consistently do all they can to guide and support students on their journey through higher education.”

In order to achieve the increased numbers seen this fall, the enrollment team and coaches worked tirelessly to recruit high caliber students with a desire to take part in the face-to-face classes that they expect from a college experience. A number of safety measures were put in place to help the campus remain healthy and are continually monitored for best practice by a dedicated team of administrators.

“The increase in enrollment, especially during this challenging year, proves that a growing number of students are recognizing the value of a Defiance College education and the personal connections made with faculty, staff, and coaches,” Ford added. “Students are choosing to invest in their future on a campus where they will gain the experience they need to be successful.”

A job placement rate of 96.8% illustrates how well Defiance College helps students find their choice career after graduation — including graduate/professional school. With hands-on field experience, as well as guidance from the Institute for Career Readiness and Lifelong Learning, students at Defiance are prepared for the workplace well before graduating.

This semester, Defiance College added a first-of-its-kind program called Jacket Journey. This program focuses on career readiness, urging students to think about their career from orientation through graduation. With a foundation in the liberal arts, Jacket Journey connects classroom and campus experiences with the current needs of the workforce to engage students in the development of soft skills and 21st-century workplace competency. Community partnerships will be utilized to add more professional opportunities off-campus.

Heading the Jacket Journey program as dean of the Institute for Career Readiness and Lifelong Learning is Dr. Jeremy Taylor. “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead this important initiative,” commented Dr. Taylor. “In recent years, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the value of a college degree. Jacket Journey will help settle that question. Defiance College graduates will be able to properly articulate their value to employers immediately upon graduation and for the rest of their careers.”

Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. The College website is

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