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Indiana University Northwest sets new records for enrollment and credit hours in Fall 2010

Campus surpasses 5,900 students, 61,000 credit hours for current semester


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing & Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing & Communications

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Indiana University Northwest welcomes students back for another record year

Indiana University Northwest announced on Sept. 14 that its Fall 2010 student census showed an enrollment increase of more than 400 students, a 7.4 percent jump from a year ago. This set a new record for the IU Northwest campus with 5,969 students. The official report released by Indiana University also showed a new record for registered credit hours at IU Northwest with 61,854, an 8.6 percent increase from last year.

“The record enrollment figures for Fall Semester 2010 show that growing numbers of students continue to discover the value and convenience of the high-quality academic experiences that Indiana University offers here in the Northwest Indiana region,” said Chancellor William J. Lowe. “IU Northwest serves a dynamic mix of undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom are adult learners and working professionals and all of whom are pursuing an IU education that is designed to fit their individual goals and life circumstances.

“The numbers of credit hours for which students enroll have also increased and reflect the determination of our hard-working students to complete their degrees in as efficient a timeframe as their personal circumstances will permit,” Dr. Lowe continued. “Even though our campus is serving the largest number of students in its history, we remain committed to providing each student with the personalized instruction, access to technology and learning resources, opportunities for experiential learning and research and the other supporting services that they expect, and that have come to define an IU Northwest education in the 21st century.”    

The final student headcount for Fall 2010 represented an increase of 409 students over IU Northwest’s Fall 2009 enrollment of 5,560 students. Credit hours increased by 4,904 over the Fall 2009 semester total of 56,950.

While the Fall 2010 semester is a milestone for IU Northwest, the increases in student enrollment and credit hours continued a trend that began in 2008 and accelerated last fall. In two years, enrollment at IU Northwest has increased by 1,175 students, or 24.5 percent. In that same period of time, the numbers of registered credit hours at the campus have increased by 13,109, almost 27 percent.  

Chancellor Lowe noted that the campus had anticipated record enrollment this year and had planned accordingly. Sound facilities planning, extra summer orientation sessions, and even the addition of a “park and ride” lot located at the university’s new Arts on Grant facility at the Village Shopping Center, have contributed to an exciting and efficient start to the semester.

“Even with such large numbers of new and returning students, my IU Northwest colleagues did a superb job of anticipating what would be needed to have a smooth start-up to the new academic year,” Dr. Lowe said. “Former Chancellor Bruce Bergland put recruitment and retention initiatives in place that positioned the university to serve this record number of students and charged the vice chancellors to anticipate all of the details that contribute to students having a satisfying academic experience from the very first day on campus.

“Dr. Bergland’s goal was for the campus to enroll 6,000 students by the year 2013, and, through much hard work and collaboration among our faculty and staff colleagues, IU Northwest is within 30 students of that threshold this term. There are many people to thank, including our students and their families for making IU Northwest their university of choice in Northwest Indiana.”

IU Northwest’s previous record for student enrollment was 5,962, set in 1992. Its previous record high for credit hours was 56,950, set in 2009.

Diane Hodges, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, acknowledged that the region’s ongoing economic concerns have played a role in motivating more students to attend college locally. But she credited her division’s Office of Admissions with sustaining an aggressive recruiting campaign specifically aimed at Northwest Indiana’s traditional undergraduate market.

“My colleagues across the campus and I are elated that the Fall 2010 semester is a record-breaking year for IU Northwest,” Hodges said. “Current economic conditions have encouraged more of our region’s students to consider their local options for higher education, and many of them have discovered the affordable and academically excellent IU education that is available to them here in Northwest Indiana. We are very pleased to have them here, and we are committed to supporting all of our students in their academic objectives.”

Linda Templeton, Director of the Office of Admissions, pointed to the growth of IU Northwest’s full-time student base as a significant factor in the explosion of registered credit hours. Full-time undergraduate enrollment increased 10.7 percent over Fall 2009, for a total of 3,395 students. Total undergraduate enrollment at IU Northwest jumped 8.8 percent, with 5,307 students this year versus 4,879 in Fall 2009.

“People see the value in an obtaining an education, whether for the first time or for an advanced or second career path,” Templeton said. “And the surge in credit hours tells us more individuals are working toward degree completion and pursuing their education at a more rapid pace than in previous years.

“We are excited to be a part of students’ journeys toward reaching their goals and, ultimately, graduating,” she added.

Overall, graduate enrollment figures declined only slightly from last year, but the number of degree-seeking graduate students at IU Northwest increased 4.4 percent, from 571 in Fall 2009 to 596 this year. The official student census reported 662 total graduate students this semester versus 681 in Fall 2009, a decrease of 2.8 percent. Total graduate credit hours decreased by 1.9 percent, but credit hours taken among degree-seeking graduate students jumped 4.5 percent.  

Degree-seeking students are those who have declared their intent to complete a particular graduate degree program, such as business, as opposed to students who take grad classes but who are not formally pursuing graduate degrees.

Diversity enrollment also increased significantly at IU Northwest this year. African-American enrollment increased by 116 students, or 9.2 percent, and Hispanic/Latino enrollment jumped by 184 students or 28 percent. The number of Asian-American students enrolled at IU Northwest increased by three students, or 2.6 percent.

Male student enrollment at IU Northwest increased 7.6 percent, while the number of female students increased by 7.3 percent. Overall, women account for 68.3 percent of the campus student population, and men make up the remaining 31.7 percent.