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Calumet College students

Students from Desila Rosetti's strategic business management class at Calumet College talk about their surveys, work and recommendations to representatives from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Northwest Indiana.

The attributes of higher-education institutions can be seen as shining accents throughout Northwest Indiana.

Local colleges and universities provide positive impacts on so many levels, from vital research for Region planning to post-secondary education options for our developing generations.

The latest example comes courtesy of Calumet College of St. Joseph, a Hammond-based institution all-too-often overlooked.

A group of Calumet College business students recently reviewed the programming and made recommendations for improving the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.

Associate business professor Desila Rosetti said students in her strategic business management class led focus groups, with a heavy focus on speaking with youth who benefit from the Boys and Girls Clubs.

"It was very well received by the Boys and Girls Club," Rosetti said. "They were overwhelmed with the quality of the work that the college students did."

The Calumet College students' work included visits to six of the 10 clubs in Lake and Porter counties.

That type of comprehensive review to improve programming would have cost the nonprofit organization a small fortune.

Instead, Boys and Girls Clubs received useful recommendations, including possible additional security precautions, free of charge.

"The college students did a great job with the focus groups and capturing information and presenting these observations to us," said Ryan Smiley, executive director for Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana. "We are talking and putting together an action plan based on the recommendations."

It's but the latest anecdote in a long list of benefits our Region reaps from its plethora of higher learning institutions.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Local News Editor Marc Chase, Lake County Editor Crista Zivanovic, Porter/LaPorte County Editor Doug Ross and Deputy Local Editor Erin Orr.