Attracting successful, persistent students (Part 2 of 3)
The decision several years ago by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to redefine the mission of Purdue Calumet and the state’s other regional universities to that of focusing exclusively on baccalaureate and master’s level education was the right one.
With the emergence at that time of an Indiana community college system through Ivy Tech State College, it makes sense that Indiana students pursuing associate degree study and/or those needing remedial education—both of whom Purdue Calumet previously served—should be directed to Ivy Tech.
Our response to state goal
Those redefined roles were established to better position Indiana for meeting a goal of increasing the number of state residents with post-high school education to 60 percent by the year 2025. Today, less than one-third of Hoosiers have completed higher education. Yet, as ICHE Commissioner Teresa Lubbers reported earlier this year, “Nearly two-thirds of the jobs in Indiana this decade will require more than a high school diploma.”
As for our role of producing more baccalaureate and master’s degree graduates, we continue to transition into a redefined Purdue Calumet. We are learning what it takes to attract to our campus successful, high school and community college graduates capable of and committed to earning a Purdue degree.
Full-time, graduation-persistent students
We are developing an enrollment management plan that provides success strategies for student recruitment and retention. Key to our plan is attracting students intent on enrolling full time and eagerly persisting to graduation.
Increased full time student enrollment also will go a long way in restoring revenue, the decline of which we are experiencing, primarily due to a decrease in full-time enrollees.
So how are we going about attracting full time students? Again, our soon-to-be developed enrollment management plan will position us on a strategic success track, led by a new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs we are recruiting. Meantime, we are doing the following:
- Seeking to increase our scholarship dollars, while studying possible ways to reallocate current scholarship resources more attractively;
- Exploring expansion of our student recruitment base to include more communities and high schools from which we can attract successful, persistent students;
- Developing stronger relationships with community colleges and other markets from which to cultivate transfer students;
- Also, our expanded, 12-team intercollegiate athletics program will attract to our campus next fall some 200 full-time students who want to pursue a Purdue education while they continue their athletic career.
In transition, we have much work to do. But we are committed to effectively identifying, targeting and attracting to Purdue Calumet students eager to graduate and destined for success.
Thomas L. Keon