Parents & Families E-Newsletter - March 2010
Dear Parents and Families,
In March students enjoyed basketball, brackets and Boilermaker victories – and Spring Break! April is a special time on campus too: the daffodils are emerging, the trees are budding, and the students are starting to ride their bicycles again and dress like it’s Spring. They are engaged in end-of-year activities, competitions like the Grand Prix, and finishing their classroom projects. The campus abounds in energy.
It was a pleasure to recently share our progress this past year with our campus community in my annual State of the University address. My message centered on student success. I’m thrilled that our students—your students—continue to reach new heights.
This year’s freshman class had the highest SAT scores in history, up nine points over the previous year and up 32 points since 2000. Retention of students from their freshman to sophomore year also reached an all-time high of 87 percent. When retention rates increase, so do the number of students who graduate from our University.
What’s driving this improvement? First are orientation programs like Boiler Gold Rush. Our long-term observations tell us students who take part in this program (more than 5,500 this year) have a 5 percent higher retention rate than those who do not. Second are the fifty learning communities that help students adapt to the rigors of college—and increase the likelihood of first-year success by 7 percent. And third are new programs in experiential learning, as well as technology-based initiatives in the classroom. The latter include Signals and HotSeat that notify students about their progress on a real-time basis and help with communication in the classroom. Students are participating more in overseas experiences, becoming research interns, or engaging in service learning.
More and more we are focused on increasing affordability through scholarships— and we’ve been successful thanks in large part to the Purdue supporters who have pledged more than $116 million to date toward our Access & Success campaign for scholarships.
National and international rankings have increased substantially, adding to the value of a Purdue degree.
With academic reputation, retention, scholarships and research awards at all-time highs, Purdue is a university on the move. And regardless of what challenges the years ahead may bring, we’ll keep our focus on what matters: launching your students into successful careers -- ready to make an impact on the world. Thanks to all of you, our great Boilermaker families!
France A. Córdova
The campus calendar is filled with many student activities during the month of April. Among them are:
Boiler Blast, April 10
More than 80 student teams have formed for this year's Boiler Blast, a one-day, campus-wide day of service. Student volunteers work on campus beautification or help perform spring chores for residents of West Lafayette.
Greek Week, April 11 to 17
Each spring, the Greek community comes together for events and community service activities. Some events celebrate the Greek community while others help the community around them. For more information visit the Purdue Greeks Web site.
Spring Fest, April 17 to 18
Spring Fest showcases the lighter side of higher education. Students of all ages can learn about animals, art, astronomy, and much more during two full days of free, hands-on activities.
Grand Prix and Grand Alternative, April 18 to 25
A tradition since 1958, the Purdue Grand Prix Race begins Saturday, April 3 with practice and culminates with the 160-lap race on Saturday, April 24. Alongside the race, Grand Alternative sponsored by the Student Wellness Office, provides a week of substance-free fun (more than 50 events).
Earth Day Celebration, April 22
Students are planning an Earth Day event that includes pot-a-plant and other Earth-friendly crafts from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the front lawn of the Purdue Memorial Union.
Battle of the Bands 2010 and Purdue After Dark, April 23
Purdue's five best bands battle it out to see who will be number one on Friday, April 23 from 8:00 to 10:30 p.m. at the Recreational Sports Center. In conjunction with Battle of the Bands, the Purdue After Dark event includes free food, crafts, and fun for students from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Many evening events are among the plentitude of campus activities during spring semester. Encourage your student to walk with a group or take advantage of the 24/7 safe walk program. To arrange an escort, contact the Purdue Student Security Patrol at 494-SAFE (7233).
Spring activities bring a celebratory atmosphere on campus. University-sanctioned events are alcohol-free, but celebrations beyond campus may not be. Purdue has dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to provide activities for students without the pressure to consume alcohol. Visit www.purdue.edu/alcohol to find out more about these activities and the University’s alcohol awareness resources.
Purdue students planning to attend summer classes, should submit a summer aid application by April 1 for priority consideration. Award notices will be distributed in early April by email. Students should make sure to respond as soon as they are able to inquiries for additional information from Purdue's Division of Financial Aid.
Only four more weeks of classes remain before the spring semester ends and final exams begin. Classes end Saturday, May 1 and finals are scheduled for Monday to Saturday, May 3 to 8.
Students may need some additional support in the last few weeks leading up to finals week. The following campus resources provide students with:
- Tactics for Coping
The Academic Success Center Student Advisory Board will present a workshop, "Surviving Finals Week," on Wednesday, April 21 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Lawson Computer Science Building, Room B155.
- A Surprise Snack
Families can send students living in the residence halls a snack pack available through Housing and Food Services.
- A Quiet Place to Study
Purdue Libraries will extend its hours of operation, including the UnderGrounds coffee shop.
- Study and Test-taking Suggestions
Academic Resource Center has resources available on site and online.
- Writing Resources
Students who have questions about final writing assignments can contact the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- A Doctor or a Counselor
The Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH) has physicians and mental health care providers on staff. Purdue's Student Wellness Office is a point of contact for a wide variety of student needs and offers many online, self-help resources.
Purdue offers a fare-free CityBus for students with many routes through campus and the surrounding Lafayette-West Lafayette area. For students needing to travel greater distances, options include service to the Indianapolis Airport, Chicago O’Hare Airport, and Chicago Midway Airport as well as:
- BoilerRide (a Web-based carpool and event/trip matching program):
- AmTrak train service: (or call 765-497-3828)
- Greyhound Bus
- Shuttle services (A new shuttle service not listed on this linked page is Star of America.)
Students are securing their housing arrangements for the fall semester. Purdue’s Housing and Food Services is currently renewing contracts for next year, and the priority deadline is May 1. Off-campus resources include:
Parents and families with students living in the University residence halls can gain additional insights on student life by subscribing to Hallways e-newsletter.
Spring 2010 commencement will take place Friday, May 14 to Sunday, May 16 at Elliott Hall of Music. Ceremonies by schools/colleges are:
Division I - Friday, May 14 at 8:00 p.m
- Consumer and Family Sciences
- Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences
Division II - Saturday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m.
- Veterinary Medicine
Division III - Saturday, May 15 at 2:30 p.m.
Division IV - Sunday, May 16 at 9:30 a.m.
- Liberal Arts
For more information on commencement, visit the Office of the Registrar Web site.
Students can donate items they no longer need when moving out at the end of the semester to Project Move Out. Scheduled for May 7 to 8 at the Purdue Armory, the project keeps dropped-off items out of the landfills and places them into the hands of those who need them. Each year, about 200 community members are served by the drive.
Renovations will begin this summer on the Recreational Sports Center (RSC). Built 53 years ago, Purdue's RSC was one of the first dedicated collegiate recreation buildings in the nation. About 213,000 square feet of existing space will receive renovations while 117,000 square feet will be added to the facility. In order to keep the center operational, renovations are planned in three phases, and construction is scheduled for completion in August 2012 (Image is an artist's rendering). More Info.
Several student competitions and design projects have inspired student creativity and innovation this semester.
2010 Winter Paralympic Games inspire design students
The 2010 Winter Paralympic Games inspired a class of Purdue University students to consider how sports equipment could be improved to help athletes with disabilities. More Info.
Students invent innovative, weather-resistant shelter for disaster victims
A team of Purdue University students has turned an undergraduate design project into a sturdy, portable, spacious, easily assembled shelter for homeless families suffering in the aftermath of disasters like the earthquake in Haiti. More info.
Purdue site of regional and national competitions
Two competitions held at Purdue this month moved students to collaborate on creative solutions to technology challenges. The national high school and collegiate Rube Goldberg contests took place March 27, and the FIRST Robotics regional competition for high school students was held March 18 to 20.