Campus improvements, new parking options highlight fall semester
Indiana University Northwest welcomed the Class of 2014 on Monday, Aug. 30, in what is already turning out to be a record year for students at IU’s Gary campus.
As of Friday, Aug. 27, total student enrollment had well exceeded last year’s total of 5,560, with a flurry of registration activity expected to continue through the first week of classes. The campus has already set an all-time record for registered credit hours with more than 60,000, easily besting last year’s record total of 56,950.
This is the second year in a row that IU Northwest has experienced a steep enrollment increase. In fall 2009, IU Northwest notched a 16 percent increase in enrollment and a 17–percent increase in credit hours.
Final enrollment totals will not be released until IU conducts its formal census in September.
In a video message welcoming new and returning students to campus, IU Northwest Chancellor William J. Lowe thanked them and their families for making IU Northwest their university of choice in Northwest Indiana.
“We are very proud to offer you a student-centered experience that brings all of the qualities of an Indiana University education to Northwest Indiana,” Dr. Lowe said. “Small classes, knowledgeable and caring professors, and excellent technological and learning resources, create a first-rate 21-century learning environment.”
For freshman nursing student Lauren Unger, it was the value, convenience and appeal of IU Northwest’s nursing program that encouraged the Cedar Lake, Ind. resident to enroll as a freshman. Unger said it is important to her to obtain a good education, and noted that she saw firsthand the importance of a college degree when her mother graduated in 1991 from IU Northwest.
“Beyond my mom’s positive experience at IU Northwest, my decision was strongly based on the fact that I will be studying nursing, and I know this university has an excellent program,” she said.
Unger attended a summer orientation session in June to better acquaint herself to IU Northwest. She attended an academic, services and activities fair, and learned more about the campus through a formal orientation program.
A few of Unger’s short-term goals are meeting new people and learning more about the nursing field. Post-graduation, she’d like to work in a local hospital, she said.
Meghan Martinez, of Crown Point, Ind., is also focused on the future and knows what she has to accomplish to achieve her goals. A graduate of Crown Point High School, Martinez will be studying graphic design. When exploring her college choices, she considered both IU Northwest and another local campus, she said.
“I was trying to decide between the two schools and to help me make a decision, I reviewed the classes,” she said. “I decided I liked the classes better at IU Northwest."
“I also heard from my high school design teacher that IU Northwest had a strong graphics arts department,” Martinez continued. “Once I graduate, I’d like to work at a large advertising company and I know the importance of a college degree to landing my dream job.”
Continuous campus improvements
Despite its already dramatic increase in students, IU Northwest is prepared to accommodate additional enrollment by making necessary adjustments to class times and room assignments, according to David Malik, Ph.D., Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. He noted that the campus has invested more than $200,000 into purchases of new classroom furniture and will continue to invest in more upgrades this year.
“Technology investments are also moving ahead to ensure that classrooms and library spaces can fully accommodate Web access, new media, and other learning opportunities for students,” Malik said. “We are ready for another record year.”
One of the largest and most visible changes IU Northwest has instituted is the off-campus parking area. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use the IU Northwest Park & Ride lot located at the university’s new ‘Arts on Grant’ location at Grant Street and 37th Avenue in the Village Shopping Center.
The space will provide ample additional parking, and a free shuttle service will provide safe and easy transport to the Moraine Student Center and the Library Conference Center. The service launches with the start of fall classes on Aug. 30 and runs Monday through Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. while classes are in session.
Beginning in the Spring Semester 2010, select Fine Arts and Performing Arts courses will be taught in the newly leased Arts on Grant space at the Village. This facility will serve as the temporary location for those programs until the construction of the new Tamarack Hall.
“Additional plans for increased enrollment include expanding the hours of operation for the library and food service to make on-campus time more convenient for students, faculty and staff,” Malik said.
Welcome Back Week
The first two weeks of classes will be especially exciting for students, as a variety of welcome-back activities have been planned to help introduce them to campus programs and activities.
Greeters will be stationed around campus on Monday, Aug. 30, and Tuesday, Aug. 31, to help orient students to the university, and “college survival kits” containing candy, information, and various IU Northwest items, will be handed out, as well.
Club Call Out Week will take place starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, and campus organizations will set up displays in the Savannah Center to introduce students to the university’s array of extracurricular and volunteer opportunities. Entertainment will also be provided.
In his video message to students, Chancellor Lowe emphasized the central importance of the academic experience at IU Northwest. But he also asked students to become active in the social life of the campus and take full advantage of the opportunities for engagement and volunteerism that the university offers.
“We want you to have the full benefit of campus life outside of class at IU Northwest,” Dr. Lowe said. “There are many ways to get involved, on and off campus, and I am sure that you will find ways to pursue your individual interests and make new friends among the many clubs, events and activities that are available to our students."
“Let me encourage you to become involved in the groups, programs, or volunteer opportunities that interest you,” he continued. “And don’t forget to cheer on our IU Northwest RedHawk basketball and volleyball teams!”
Registration and Drop/Add
Late registration and the drop/add period began with the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 30.
First-time registrants who register on or after Aug. 30 will be assessed a late fee. However, schedule adjustments for students who were registered prior to Aug. 30 will continue through Saturday, Sept. 4, with no late fee. After Sept. 4, a late schedule change fee will be assessed to those students, as well.
Open admission for the fall term concluded on Aug. 23. Any new admissions may be deferred until Spring 2011.
New students seeking to take graduate-level courses should contact their specific academic units for admissions information.
For more information, contact the Office of Admissions at (219) 980-6991. And for additional information on class registration, contact the Registrar’s Office at (219) 980-6815 or call toll free at 1-888-YOUR-IUN.
For more information about IU Northwest Park & Ride, visit www.iun.edu/~rshuttle/.