Western University of Health Sciences reached a new record for enrollment in a landmark year.

WesternU welcomed 988 incoming students at its Convocation and white coat ceremonies in Pomona on Aug. 11 and 108 students to COMP-Northwest in Lebanon, Ore. on Aug. 4. The incoming classes bring WesternU’s preliminary total enrollment to 3,629, a 10 percent increase compared to last year and the University’s largest enrollment in its history.

The 2012-13 academic year marks a milestone in the growth and development of WesternU. Three colleges – Optometry, Dental Medicine and Podiatric Medicine – reached full enrollment this year and their inaugural classes will graduate in May 2013.

COMP-Northwest welcomed its second class and now has an enrollment of 212 students.

“This planned growth is the anticipated result of the University’s strategic plan, begun in 2005,” said WesternU Provost and Chief Operating Officer Gary Gugelchuk, PhD. “While this growth will benefit the region through the addition of needed health care workers to meet the demands for care resulting from the Affordable Care Act, we could not have predicted that event back in 2005. Rather, we sought to complete our long-term goal of becoming a comprehensive health sciences university and demonstrate the value of a curriculum that would develop interprofessional, patient-centered graduates.”

WesternU was founded as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in 1977 and welcomed its first class of 36 students the following year. The University will celebrate its 35th anniversary in September.