Attracting the Intellectually Curious

Ball State students are bright, curious, and passionate about learning. Our supportive academic environment provides individual attention that encourages them to dream big and explore new ideas while preparing for a brilliant future.

Here are some examples that highlight our outcome measures from the Strategic Plan 2007-2012.

A New Home for Honors Students
The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball House is being modified into a new home for the Honors College that’s as distinctive as its more than 1,200 scholars. Renovations are focused on transforming the house and grounds into an inviting learning and administrative center. The house will foster interaction in flexible settings with fireplaces, hardwood floors, and outdoor areas. The college will move into its new home at the core of the campus in spring 2009.

Honors College has seen significant upticks in its percentage of the freshman class this year. In 2007, its members accounted for 8.8 percent of the freshman class, up from 7 percent in 2006.

Goal 1, Objective A: By 2012, achieve 10 percent of freshman enrollment participating in the Honors College.

New Scholarships for High-Ability Students
Sixteen students with a commitment and passion for a career in journalism launched the Ingelhart News Scholars Program this year. As a cohort, they follow a specially designed, rigorous curriculum, are mentored by journalism professionals, and have special access to news organizations, conferences, and visiting professionals.

The Miller College of Business launched the new Miller Scholars program this year. Designed for students with academic drive, professionalism, and leadership, the program will award 10 new freshmen with full tuition scholarships, funding for study abroad, an internship with stipend, and personal mentoring by a business leader.

Goal 1, Objective ii: By 2012, increase the amount of endowed scholarships to 600.

Center for Leadership Development ScholarshipsCenter for Leadership Development Scholarships
The Center for Leadership Development in Indianapolis nourishes high-potential, minority students. As these students approach college, they have the confidence and active learning styles that make them a good match for Ball State. This year, Ball State is offering two full-tuition scholarships with membership in Honors College.

Goal 1, Objective A: By 2012, achieve 15 percent of total enrollment from underrepresented minority populations.

SAT Scores Increase
The fall 2007 freshman class posted a 23-point gain in average SAT scores over its predecessor in 2006, and 51 percent had completed the academic honors diploma or equivalent.

Goal 1, Objective A: By 2012, achieve 80 percent of total incoming freshmen class holding academic honors diplomas or equivalent.

Student Retention on the Rise
Ball State’s emphasis on hands-on learning attracts motivated students and helps them be more involved, increasing their chances of staying and doing well in college. Retention rates—the measure of student persistence toward a degree—are on the rise at Ball State. Of the fall 2006 freshman class, 76.7 percent continued to 2007, up from 74.5 percent in 2005.

Students who participate in “bridge” programs—specially designed activities that give freshmen a leg up on college life—have retention rates of 85–90 percent. Some of these programs include:

  • Early Start: This three-day summer session gives students a sample of college life with for-credit mini-courses.
  • Cardinal Leadership and Service Seminar (CLASS): About 150 students explore leadership concepts in preparation for roles in student organizations.
  • Leadership Challenge Trip: Forty incoming students meet new friends and enhance leadership skills with a climbing challenge at Camp Tecumseh.
  • Whitewater Rafting ExpeditionWhitewater Rafting Expedition: Twenty students whitewater raft on the New River in West Virginia and conquer the basic challenges of rafting, mountaineering, and team building.
  • Academic MADE: This program helps students realize their academic goals through personal attention and other resources.
  • Living-Learning Communities: Honors College students and students majoring in pre-business, telecommunications, and other majors live in the same residence hall, providing a connection to others with similar interests. These living-learning communities offer extra support and help students become fully entrenched in campus life more quickly. Retention rates for these groups range from 91 percent for Honors College students to 81–83 percent for pre-business and telecommunications students.

Goal 1, Objective A: By 2012, achieve 80 percent first-year retention rate.