Quality drives change at Purdue Calumet

2013-07-31T13:46:00Z Quality drives change at Purdue CalumetWes Lukoshus | Purdue University Calumet nwitimes.com
July 31, 2013 1:46 pm  • 

HAMMOND | Students better prepared to graduate are enrolling at Purdue University Calumet, where quality is driving success in a changing higher education environment.

In its transition from an all-purpose campus to a regional university committed to increasing baccalaureate and master’s degree graduates, Purdue Calumet has seen average SAT/ACT scores, high school grade point average and the high school class rank of its entering freshman class increase over the past four years.

From fall 2009 to 2012, the average SAT and ACT scores at northwest Indiana’s largest university have jumped from 1371 to 1447 and from 19.9 to 21.5, respectively. The percentage of freshman enrollees who achieved a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher leaped from 6.7 percent to 21.5. As for high school class rank, enrollees who graduated in the top 10 percent of their class increased from 10 percent to 15 percent.

“That we are attracting more students who are better prepared to earn a Purdue degree on our campus indicates we are becoming a stronger academic institution,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “It is our intention to continue building a foundation of academic quality and excellence in adapting to our changing environment.”

That environment includes changing enrollment trends and diverse options by which higher education is being delivered. For example, in response to reduced enrollment in general education and other courses, resulting in over-staffing in some academic units, Purdue Calumet is offering a retirement incentive for qualified faculty through Aug. 11.

The opportunity is available to tenured faculty, clinical faculty and continuing lecturers on continuing contracts. The incentive is designed to better align staffing and student needs with emphasis in targeted academic areas in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics; Department of Chemistry and Physics; and Department of Construction Science and Organizational Leadership.

Purdue Calumet Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Ralph Rogers said salary and benefit savings from faculty accepting the retirement offer “will allow the university to respond more appropriately to changing, current enrollment needs.”

“We cannot say for sure, but we believe the growing popularity of dual credit classes taught in high schools is affecting enrollment in our general education courses, primarily those offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences,” Keon said.

Beginning his third year overseeing the 9,000-plus student campus, the Purdue Calumet chancellor added, “The present environment calls for a different Purdue Calumet—a Purdue Calumet committed to change and proactively adapting to opportunities before us as a Destination of Choice University.”

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