Indiana University Northwest begins the 2020 – 2021 academic year with strong starts in enrollment, campus health and safety, and in-person and online learning

Two weeks after the start of fall classes, Indiana University Northwest reports that it met its enrollment goals for the semester, opening campus with increased health and safety measures, and multiple learning modes providing students with a mix of in-person and online classes.

“We’re proud of how we commenced the new academic year,” said Chancellor Ken Iwama. “With our faculty and staff working diligently all summer, we were well-prepared to welcome new and returning students to campus.” He noted that IU Northwest met its recruitment goal and pointed to such bright spots as increased numbers of previously enrolled students, graduate students, and increased student diversity, despite a nationwide trend in declining college enrollment.

“We attribute these milestones to successfully transitioning to online teaching in the spring. Recognizing that the quality of instruction has remained intact, we have had more students returning from the previous year. We also welcomed increased numbers of students who previously attended IU Northwest, but not in the last three years. This tells us that students understand the value of an IU education, both in terms of academic excellence and their future success, during these incredibly challenging times,” he added.

Investing in student success

In addition, Iwama recapped several other factors responsible for the campus’s strong start:

  • IU Northwest contributed significant resources to ensuring that the campus is able to remain open in the face of COVID-19. These include purchasing adequate amounts of personal protective equipment, investments to support mitigation testing and contact-tracing, structural modifications to physical spaces, and increased cleaning regimens.
  • To enable an innovative mix of learning modes, IU Northwest heavily invested in new technology for in-person and online options for learning. These include accessibility technologies, studio spaces, regulatory costs, instructional design, expanded student services, and remote proctoring.
  • IU Northwest continues to be the most diverse IU campus with enrollment of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian students composing nearly 48 percent of IU Northwest’s total enrollment. 
  • Full-time beginner students who enrolled in 2019 were retained at a rate of 70.5 percent, the highest rate for fall-to-fall retention since 2008.
  • In a time when financial resources were uncertain across the U.S., IU Northwest was investing in students. We leveraged almost $60,000 in scholarships, merit, and need-based. IU Northwest provided new laptops for selected students to ensure access for our most vulnerable population of students. These extra steps are in addition to the $1.5 Million in relief funds directly distributed to students in the spring and summer via the CARES Act.