Photo Credit: USI Photography Services
Enrollment at the University of Southern Indiana is at 10,467 students for the 2012 fall semester, the fourth highest in University history, though lower than last year’s record count of 10,820. University administrators, however, are buoyed by indications that academic quality of the incoming freshman class continues to improve. The 1,876 first-time students in the entering class of 2016 represent high levels of academic achievement and potential. Average SAT scores are up 20 points over last year and up 43 points over the last three years. Average high school grade point averages also are at a record high 3.2.
USI is focusing on admitting students more likely to succeed here,” said Eric Otto, director of admission. In recent years, seven to eight percent of USI students were enrolled with conditional status, a group that may not be as well prepared to find success at a four-year university. This year, only 1.2 percent of the admitted class was in this group.
“USI is adapting with an eye to quality,” President Linda L. M. Bennett said. “We are admitting students who are prepared for college work and who have a plan to complete course work in four years. USI accepts students who want to learn, share, and apply knowledge.”
“We continue to be a public university of opportunity,” said Bennett. “Now, though, students have community college options that were not in place in 1965 when USI was founded. Many of these students eventually come to USI, but after they’ve raised their academic achievement level and are ready to complete a bachelor’s degree.”
Bennett noted that USI is intent on increasing its graduation rate. In addition to admitting students more prepared to succeed, the University is improving its student advising. “We’ve established advising centers in the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education and in the College of Nursing and Health Professions,” she said. “Two more advising centers will be created next year in the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Business. Through careful advising, students learn how to set goals and discuss career aspirations. Academic advisors help students understand degree requirements and how to plan classes to meet their goals.”
I’m excited about the possibilities of the advising centers for USI students,” said Dr. Ronald S. Rochon, provost. “USI is being deliberate about offering additional wraparound services for our students, emphasizing retention and successful matriculation,” he said. “We want to enable students with the ability to attain their academic objectives.”
Profile of student population
The majority of students at USI continue to come from Vanderburgh and contiguous counties. Students come from 89 Indiana counties and 44 other states. Sixty-one countries are represented among the enrollees. Minority and international students make up nearly 11 percent of the student population. female students represent 62 percent of the student population and nearly 25 percent of the students are 25 years of age or older. Full-time students continue to be in the majority and 969 graduate students are enrolled.