By: MELISSA SEYBOLDT
IU South Bend’s incoming freshmen had the privilege of attending a New Student Induction Ceremony on Friday, Aug. 22, where Chancellor Terry Allison and the academic deans formally welcomed them into the university’s community.
Chancellor Allison began by emphasizing what it takes to graduate in four years – 45 hours of study a week for full-time students. He assured that IUSB has many resources and programs to help students reach the end of the tunnel.
“IU South Bend already has many attributes designed for your success,” said Allison. “Small classes, access to excellent faculty, programs to help you be more successful in your classes and student activities to help keep you engaged. We are focused on improving your coordination of these opportunities, focused on your success.”
He asked that the students, in turn, focus on their success as well and offered advice on how to do so.
“Show up to class,” “Be prepared,” “Write, write and re-write,” “Limit your working time,” “Know the rules and stay on track,” “Communicate,” and “Find a mentor” were some of the main pieces of advice.
Sophomore Hannah Van was a student guest speaker. She challenged new students to step outside of their comfort zone and stay socially engaged throughout their college career.
“You can learn and grow from one another,” she said. “Together we will achieve more.”
Students weren’t the only ones to get a dose of encouragement. Jann Joseph, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, gave a heartfelt message to parents in the audience.
“Your job does not end when your children go to college,” Joseph said.
She urged them to remain involved in their children’s lives “in a way that you will frequently ask about their progress,” but
not as helicopter parents.
The ceremony reflected IUSB’s latest efforts to retain students.
“In the past three years, nearly one in three freshmen here didn’t make it to their sophomore year,” Allison said.
“That’s not because we’re trying to weed you out. We’re not. We want to keep you. We want you to progress, we want you to succeed. We want you to graduate sooner than later.”
According to the South Bend Tribune, while the total credit hours students have enrolled in this year have decreased 3.1 percent, “early numbers indicate about 63.6 percent of students who enrolled for the first time in fall 2013 at IUSB are enrolled to return this fall […] about a 5 percent improvement over the retention rate last fall for returning second year students.”
Whether or not IUSB’s student retention efforts pay off in the coming years, it was evident at the ceremony that the students were enthusiastic about beginning their college journey and hopeful that they would reach the end.
As the ceremony came to a close, the students raised their IUSB Titan pins – given to them to symbolize their transition into the university’s community – and declared in unison, “I will graduate in four years from Indiana University South Bend.”