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Enrollment numbers up at IUP campus as classes get under way

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By Mitch Fryer
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011

SOUTH BUFFALO -- There's something about college life that appeals to Indiana University of Pennsylvania Northpointe Campus students Madalyn Bergad and Rachel Lassinger -- the relaxed, easygoing atmosphere, for sure.

They were already enjoying some of that between classes in the student common area while preparing for their chemistry class on their first day of college on Monday.

"College is so much more comfortable than high school," said Bergad, a safety sciences major from Freeport and a 2011 graduate of St. Joseph High School in Natrona Heights. "I'd rather wake up at 9:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m."

"You choose to come to class," added Lassinger, of Freeport, a 2011 graduate of Freeport High School studying nuclear medicine. "It's not something that's forced, like in high school. You don't have a class every single period of the day. It makes it a lot easier because you can choose for yourself how to set aside your time for specific study."

The fall semester got off to a good start for them and all the students at the local branch of IUP yesterday.

Enrollment numbers at IUP Northpointe show an increase from last year and classes are full.

The campus' interim director, Rich Muth, said there are approximately 175 students enrolled there and there is a chance that number will go up to 200 with the second semester when a new MBA Executive Track program begins. The campus holds 350 students.

"New freshmen are up over 25 percent to Northpointe over fall 2010," said Muth. "Most incoming students select IUP at Northpointe because they receive an IUP education at a real value."

Another important number is the number of students who continue to attend college after their first year at IUP Northpointe.

"Our students did well academically last year," he said. "They came in, were disciplined and are going on to a second year. I'd say it's around 80 percent of them to register for the fall semester of their second year."

The campus has been focusing more on increasing its educational outreach with workshops and one-day conferences, according to Muth. During the past summer, there was a workshop for Glogster, a collaborative online learning platform designed for teachers and students to express their creativity, knowledge, ideas and skills in the classroom.

Officials have been contacted about holding a New Choices program, teacher education meetings, career days and non-credit classes in Italian.

A "Discovery Day" campus visit is scheduled for Oct. 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

MBA candidates don't have to leave their office to learn about the new MBA Executive Track Program available in January at the campus. A live virtual information session is being held Sept. 14 from noon to 1 p.m. RSVP is required.

Another new program for 2011 is the bachelor of science in geology major in the Energy Resources Track.

"We have a couple of students that will jump into that major," said Muth. "(With the energy industry expanding here) they'll have good job prospects when they graduate."

Students at Northpointe have the same faculty that teach at the main campus.

"It allows our students to get the same academic standards without the same expense as at main campus," said Muth. "We try to make college easy and affordable for them here."

More military veterans are enrolling this year than ever before, Muth said.

Muth went out of his way to accommodate a member of the Army National Guard who is enrolled in classes at Northpointe.

"He couldn't order his text books, there was no cell phone reception at his base," said Muth. "So I bought his books and he paid me for them today."



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