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Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship sees enrollment increase as construction continues on Crawford Hall

Janson McNair
The construction site for the new Crawford Hall business building on Oct. 9, 2023.

The Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship reported record-breaking enrollment rates, as construction on Crawford Hall remains on-track. 

The college currently has 600 graduate students enrolled — a record for the college — and 2,657 undergraduate students enrolled. Among the undergraduate students, the college welcomed over 500 incoming freshmen this semester, a higher rate compared to recent years. 

“We’re grateful to have increased enrollment,” said Deborah Spake, dean of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship. “It reflects positively on our programs.”

Spake said specifically that the Master of Science in Business Analytics program, which is newer to the college, has had a “tremendous amount of growth this year.” 

“We launched it within the last five years or so and it has been well-received in the marketplace,” Spake said. “Our students are getting very good jobs.” 

Spake said it was the instructors in the program that contributed to the growth of the program. 

“So when we launched the program a few years ago, I hired a professor to lead the program, who was at the time a chief data scientist at a financial institution,” Spake said. “We’ve been very successful in attracting faculty to the program who have both industry experience in our leading academics.”

In the future, Spake said she desires higher rates of enrollment to continue, but is unsure of expected enrollment. 

“We had such a large jump in enrollment this past year,” Spake said. “I don’t know that next year we would have an equally large jump.” 

Lauren Goggins, a fifth-year entrepreneurship major, said growing enrollment rates means more opportunities and resources for the college. 

Two construction workers overlook the Crawford Hall construction site on Oct. 9, 2023. (Janson McNair)

“So, I think with more enrollment, more people are able to hear about it, they’re more likely to take advantage of the opportunities and the resources the college of business actually has,” Goggins said. “I think there’s more opportunity for the college to better serve its students.”

Goggins said the college is successful and expects more because of the administration, staff and faculty. 

Opportunities for students will be available in Crawford Hall, which will replace the current Business Administration Building, and can accommodate the growing enrollment rates, said Joseph Graham, executive director of Facilities Planning and Design and university architect. 

“The building was designed much differently than the existing building,” Graham said. 

Graham said the current building’s classroom floors are on an incline with fixed seating, which hinders the ability to distance students or allow faculty to conduct group work. However, with Crawford Hall, the layout inside the rooms will look a little different. 

“So, in the new building, all of the classrooms except for one will be flat floored with loose furnishing—so the faculty in the college have the ability to adapt and move,” Graham said. “So I think through that flexibility and that adaptability in the building is bigger than the existing facility that will be able to more efficiently schedule classes and be able to absorb some enrollment growth.”

The construction on Crawford Hall remains on-track, and classes are set to begin taking place in the fall 2024 semester. Construction on Crawford Hall is moving in the right direction, Graham said. 

“We’ve seen some tremendous. . . advancement on the site,” he said. 

Goggins said she picked the college because she felt welcomed.

“The college of business was just a good thing,” Goggins said. 

Throughout her years in the college, Goggins’ major allowed her to instill confidence and a greater understanding of the environment around her. 

“What I enjoy most about the major is that my real-world experiences are tested—we learn and we take time to learn how to market, how to do finances, so we get a little bit of everything that the college of business has to offer,” Goggins said. 

The college’s increased enrollment demonstrates prospective students hearing and actually seeing, through the construction of Crawford Hall, what the college has to offer, giving students a variety of opportunities, Goggins said.

“You’re pushed to be your best is what I love most about it,” Goggins said.

MinJee Yoo is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Janson McNair, Campus Editor
Janson is Assistant Photo Editor. Janson is a senior journalism major and trumpet section leader for the Marching Golden Flashes. He enjoys observing and documenting the world through photography. He also enjoys writing about current events as well as mental health and wellness. Contact him at [email protected]

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