Degree attainment and academic preparedness
In our ongoing quest to satisfy state and national directives to graduate more students, we can agree that degree attainment and academic preparedness go hand in hand.
I was reminded of that last week when, during our campus-hosted meeting of the Purdue Board of Trustees, I presented the annual progress report of our Purdue Calumet 2008-14 Strategic Plan. Though we have made good progress in many areas, I found the following data updates particularly encouraging:
- The percentage of new freshman enrollees who were ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class increased last fall to 13% from 11% in Fall 2010.
- The persistence rate from Fall 2010 to Fall 2011 of first time, full time beginning Hispanic students is 71%—higher than all other Purdue and Indiana University campuses except West Lafayette, IU Bloomington and IUPUI.
- While our Academic Recovery Program provides valuable academic support for students in need, the number of students needing such support continues to decrease. In fact, those eligible for the program have dropped from 561 in Fall 2007 to 320 last fall.
- And, finally, for those who may question the importance of investing in an expanded athletics program, the average GPA of our student athletes (2.96) exceeds that of our general student body (2.57).
Students who come to Purdue Calumet prepared and motivated to persist and succeed to graduation tend to do so in substantially greater numbers than less-prepared students, for whom there is a better fit and better opportunity elsewhere to succeed.
Thomas L. Keon