Eastern Illinois University636053362545246664 880580018 eiu’s continuous work to better the institution is paying off. The university announced this week that it has seen a five percent increase in enrollment over the past year, the first increase in more than 10 years.

Although freshman, graduate students and online students are to thank for this influx in enrollment, the strongest increase came from undergraduate transfer students.

EIU’s Vitalization Project may have contributed to the rise in enrollment. This project was created to advance EIU on its “Pathway to Success” mission and to craft a vision for EIU’s vitalized future. Built as a task force and working groups, the main goal of the Vitalization Project is to better the institution, attract higher enrollments and distinguish EIU in the competitive marketplace.

According to EIU, there are 9 different vitalization groups that contribute to the overall project. These groups were made up of faculty, staff and students.

The Vitalization Project created six new undergraduate and six new graduate programs, which attracted more students than before. These programs also formed a duel-credit partnership with the area high school and are working to offer options in fields like health administration and athletic training.

Officials at EIU are optimistic that enrollment will continue to grow in the future.