A Place for Explorers

We expected a positive response when we decided to establish the University College to better serve our exploring students—those who enter the university without a solid vision for their own future and, therefore, what major to pursue. But, we’re gratified to see real enthusiasm from the people who count most.

Prospective students are quite interested in entering the university without a major, and I can understand why. Imagine yourself as the student who realizes the subject matter of the major you hastily chose, because you had to choose something, doesn’t inspire or excite you. And you have a loan, and the clock is ticking.

While many students know exactly what they want to do as they graduate from high school and move on to college, many do not. Our goal is to give these students a home base and a peer group.

What’s more, prospective students who have ticked the box to enter IUP in the University College are quite bright. Their average high school GPA of the 273 prospective students who have so far indicated on their application that they’d like to enter IUP as exploring students, is 3.3. We’ve admitted 201 of them, and that group’s GPA is 3.4.

We don’t make decisions about establishing new resources like this one without doing our homework. We’ve had a team of faculty members and administrators researching the best approach, and our decisions are confirmed by sources such as EAB, a national firm that assists educational institutions. EAB has concluded that students who enter their post-secondary experience as explorers can finish sooner than students who change majors several times. We all recognize that changing majors several times puts students at risk of not graduating in a timely manner and racking up more debt.

You can learn more about the University College in the current edition of IUP Magazine. The college is one of many goals of our comprehensive Imagine Unlimited campaign. As you probably know, the campaign’s overarching themes are to enhance student success, academic excellence, and diversity and inclusion. I daresay the University College rises to all three of these goals. After all, what better way to facilitate unlimited possibilities than giving students the opportunity to explore their options with expert faculty guides?

As I extend my best wishes to you for the new year, I also would like to say that without you and your support, we couldn’t implement new and innovative programs or accomplish all that we do to prepare the next generation. Your support makes our world a better place through our students’ accomplishments. Thank you for your confidence in us.