HAMMOND | Due to decreasing enrollment at Purdue University Calumet’s off-site Academic Learning Center in Merrillville, the university announced Wednesday it will not offer classes this fall at the facility.
The $9.1 million learning center was opened to students in fall 2005 as a feeder facility to Purdue Calumet’s Hammond campus. By offering primarily freshman and sophomore level classes at the learning center, university officials envisioned some 1,500 to 2,000 students from in and around the growing south Lake County area jump-starting their college education there, then continuing at the Hammond campus to complete baccalaureate degree study.
Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon said enrollment has declined steadily.
"Since fall of 2008, our enrollment at the ALC has declined from 1,406 students to 476 last fall, and the vast majority of our recent enrollees typically have taken no more than one class. We can save $280,000 in annual operating costs by not offering classes (at the site),” he said.
Officials will encourage the facility's current students to continue their education at the main campus in Hammond.
Keon said the university is considering its options regarding future use of the 48,000-square-foot, two-story structure, located two miles south of U.S. 30 east of Broadway at 9900 Connecticut Drive.
Indiana University Northwest, which has leased classroom space at the Academic Learning Center, also will discontinue offerings in the fall.