New dean of enrollment seeks rise in Clarion University student interest

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Clarion, Pa.- Last October, Dr. David Behrs packed his belongings and made the cross-country trip from Orange County, California to Clarion, Pennsylvania, to

Behrs sets high hopes of raising student enrollment.
Behrs sets high hopes of raising student enrollment.

begin his new job as interim dean of Enrollment at Clarion University.

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Behrs, born in Lancaster and raised in New York, received his undergraduate degree from Elizabethtown College and his master’s degree from Shippensburg University.

After his graduation, Behrs was offered an admissions counselor position in 1981. Behrs says he got into the field by chance, taking the job only until he had found something else.

“I thought, ‘you know what I’ll do this until I find a real job,’ and then 20 years went by.” said Behrs.

He is working as interim dean of enrollment until June 30 and has many plans and hopes for Clarion University.

He said he sees Clarion as “not only Pennsylvania’s best-kept secret, but the country’s.” He praised the programs that the university offers and commends the teachers for their hard work and dedication to the students.

Behrs said he believes that developing relationships with possible incoming students is critical to having a successful enrollment rate.

In the past five years, Clarion University has seen a significant decrease in student enrollment, and Behrs is hoping by focusing in more on the re-design of the university and listening to what the currents students like and don’t like is key to making Clarion a more appealing place of higher education for high school students.

Behrs believes Clarion is already on its way of becoming a highly appealing university. With the new apartment style suites and other new accommodations being built. One thing Behrs believes will help bring enrollment up is highlighting what is available for students on the campus such as Greek Life, Recognized Student Organizations and campus leadership opportunities.

One concern Behrs has about incoming students is that even though Clarion is one of the cheaper state schools in Pennsylvania, many families still struggle to send their children to college. Behrs hopes to see a relocation of money so more students have the opportunity to receive scholarships and financial aid to help them attend college.

He has high hopes for Clarion University, and hopes within the coming months to see a rise in student enrollment and relationships between the students and the campus itself.

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