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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - June 2021

By Mary Jane Chew

Summer enrollment growing, setting up student success

Summers on the West Lafayette campus continue to change, according to John Gipson, director of summer session. 

“There’s no doubt the pace still slows a little compared to fall and spring semesters but we have a lot going on and so many high impact opportunities for students,“ Gipson said.  “It looks like we will have 19,500-20,000 students taking advantage of summer at Purdue.” 

Gipson says the total student count is up about five percent compared to this time last year; this, he points out, at a time when most institutions in the Association of University Summer Sessions are reporting enrollments down 10-20 percent year-over-year.

Gipson attributes the growth to robust summer offerings, intentional programming and moves to optimize the use of campus.  Summer enrollment includes continuing Purdue students, students who are beginning their college journey in summer to get a head start (Early Start and Summer Start),  and highly motivated high school students (Summer College for High School Students).

“Nearly 30 percent of our summer beginners identify as an underrepresented minority,” says Gipson. “I’m very pleased that our summer programs can support the Equity Task Force goal of providing more opportunities for URM students.”

Gipson points to more than 100 Emerging Leaders Scholars who are starting their Purdue education in the summer, along with 30 of 39 Purdue Polytechnic High School students who have been admitted for fall 2021.

“The high school students are getting a true jump-start on college,” Gipson says. “The summer program allows many to earn at least 12 Purdue credits before their first fall semester, at no cost to them.”

Gipson adds that the success of the summer session is attributable to the work of many.

“It takes a village of dedicated, collaborative faculty and staff to implement these summer programs and I’m grateful for each one of them.”

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