How does one become a winner in business? Listen to the customer. That is what Eureka College has done since its founding in 1855 as the first college in Illinois and the third in the nation to accept men and women on an equal basis and regardless of race.
Since 2004, Eureka College has experienced a 60 percent growth in enrollment—to a record of nearly 750 students—since we refocused
our attention on the needs of central Illinois. Our average freshman
ACT score has climbed by three points, and high school GPAs have also risen significantly, so quality is up. Retention of students has increased by 20 percent—another amazing number!
Of course, there are no silver bullets, but here are some basics of how we made this happen. First, we reduced tuition by 30 percent and redesigned how we distributed financial aid. We focused on being straightforward and “common-sense” in all we do. Our concern was to focus on value and quality and make that more apparent to the consumer. Consistency in college image and brand has also played a major role in our growth.
Of course, being a winner is contagious, and everyone wants to be a part of the EC team. We keep things rolling by investing in the students, including a $2.1 million renovation and expansion of our food service; a new fitness center and soccer fields; new programs like Lifelong Learning, Organizational Leadership degree completion and Special Education certification; along with constant updates of our historic
facilities—all while maintaining an amazing tuition price for a private
college. Obviously, the growth shows that people see the value and believe in our mission. With regard to quality, in our 153 years, we’ve created 42 college or university presidents, seven governors or members of Congress, and one U.S. President—Ronald Reagan.
This year we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Ronald W. Reagan Museum at Eureka College. The museum contains nearly 10,000 items, of which 3,000 are on display. About 10,000 visitors from around the world visit the museum each year. Some highlights of our 15th anniversary
include Ronald Reagan Day on February 24, 2009, and sponsorship
of a Peoria Symphony concert—“Images of the West”—in March. We’ll also have a number of guest speakers and other events open to the public. Visit our website at eureka.edu for more details.
Eureka College’s goal is to become central Illinois’ small private college of choice. We have an amazing tradition of creating excellent leaders throughout the region and the world. Most importantly, we’re a family, and everything we do is meant to reflect that fact. Students develop lifelong relationships with faculty and staff and are immersed in rich traditions that prepare them for successful lives. Working at Eureka College means making an impact on the lives of future generations,
and our employees see what they do as more than just a job—a vocation. We’re all essential parts of what has made this college so successful
and what will help it to continue to grow with integrity. iBi
Brian Sajko is Vice President of Admissions, Communications and Integrated Marketing and founding curator of the Ronald W. Reagan Museum at Eureka College.