Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Graduation rates low at IU regional campuses

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Data show the graduation rates at Indiana University’s regional campuses lag behind the flagship Bloomington campus.

Sixty-four percent of students who enrolled at the Bloomington campus in the fall semester of 2012 have graduated, The Herald-Times reported.

School officials are concerned because less than 25 percent of the students who enrolled at IU-Purdue University Indianapolis that same semester have earned a degree. The numbers for IU’s five regional campuses, with the exception of IU East’s 25 percent graduation rate, were even worse.

Six-year graduation rates were better, but each campus except for Bloomington was under 50 percent.

The school’s vice president for university academic affairs, John Applegate, said the discrepancy isn’t surprising.

“It’s been a concern since I started in 2008,” he said.

In that year, the four-year graduation rates for the university’s five regional campuses - East, Kokomo, Northwest, South Bend and Southeast - were below 15 percent. IUPUI was at about 20 percent.

Applegate presented the updated figures to the university’s board of trustees Thursday.

Trustee Patrick Shoulders suggested Indiana’s manufacturing economy might be a contributing factor to the low graduation rates. Applegate agreed, saying several regional campuses are based in towns that historically had a lot of manufacturing jobs.

"You could earn a good middle-class living,” Applegate said, noting that college wasn’t seen as necessary for many people.

Applegate said another contributing factor is that regional campuses serve a higher percentage of first-generation college students than the Bloomington campus.

Cultural shifts, such as more regional campuses having their own residence halls and sports teams, have helped increase graduation rates, but Applegate said more work needs to be done. “Whatever the reason, we need to work as hard as we can to bring that up, because that’s what’s going to serve students best,” Applegate said.

 

 

Posted 2/7/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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