2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)

The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) leads several important university initiatives that have a role in student retention and success: Academic Advising, Academic Recovery Program, Supplemental Instruction (SI), Tutoring, Brother-2-Brother, Series of Success Workshops, as well as GNS 10300  and GNS 29000  courses.

Academic Advising

The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) is devoted to helping students discover their academic and career goals through academic advising and student academic support. Students within our department enter into a Career Pathway which is based on common discipline expectations consistent with the student’s expressed goals.

We do this by advising students who fall into one of two categories:

  • Undeclared Students: Students in this category have not met the prerequisite requirements for acceptance into their major of choice.
  • Undecided Students: Students in this category are exploring career options.

Once accepted into an academic major, departmental academic advisors guide students through the curriculum for that major. Students are encouraged to develop direct advising relationships with their academic advisor. Ongoing interactions with academic advisors prior to registration periods and throughout the academic year are key to students’ success at Purdue University Northwest.

Academic Recovery Program

The Academic Recovery Program is designed to encourage both persistence and retention by providing intervention services for students who are at risk of academic dismissal, and are on probation due to their cumulative GPA. Purdue University Northwest developed this program based on research and successful programs at other universities. Interventions include enrolling in GNS 29000 , a study skills course that addresses academic issues to encourage student success, working with an academic advisor to select appropriate courses for the upcoming semester, and developing strategies to assist students in making progress toward their degree objectives.

Career Pathways

New ACE freshmen are accepted into a Career Pathway which is based on common discipline expectations consistent with the student’s expressed goals. The University’s current Career Pathways include: Business, Education, Exploratory, Health, and STEM. For each pathway, a predetermined two-semester plan of courses and activities is specifically aimed at exploring their area of career interest. Taking part in a Career Pathway will provide students the opportunity to develop personal connections with faculty and other students, take courses that research has shown are vital to student success, and broaden their learning experience. The two-semester plan is designed to give first-semester students the foundation they need to be successful at Purdue University Northwest.

Student Academic Support (SAS)

Student Academic Support (SAS) provides free academic assistance to all Purdue University Northwest students in a friendly and nurturing environment. Our goal is to help students not only increase understanding but improve study skills and build confidence. Highly qualified, faculty recommended students are hired as tutors and S.I. Leaders. Employment opportunities are available. For additional information, call or visit our website (see above). SAS support services include Supplemental Instruction, Tutoring Services and Series of Success Workshops. Hammond: Gyte Building, room 102; Westville: Library-Student-Faculty (LSF) Building, room 202 Phone: 219/989-3227; Website: www.pnw.edu/sas; Email: sas@pnw.edu


Open Lab Tutoring is available free of charge in math, science and other major subject areas. The tutoring is conducted by peers on a drop-in basis - no appointments are needed. Schedules are available online and by visiting the office of Student Academic Support on your campus.

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a free academic support program that targets historically difficult courses. It is a non-remedial approach to learning enrichment that increases student performance and retention. SI offers regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions to all students enrolled in a targeted course. SI sessions are facilitated by SI Leaders, students who have successfully completed the course and now sit in on every class with you. These sessions are interactive and give students the opportunity to review notes, discuss readings, practice problem solving and prepare for examinations.

Series of Success Workshops

Aimed at assisting students with different aspects of attending a university, these one–hour workshops are FREE for all Purdue University Northwest students and are held on both the Hammond campus and the Westville campus. Below are the titles of some of the previous workshops that have been held:

  • Am I in the Right Major?
  • Face-to-Face: The Importance of Meeting with your Professors
  • Finish in Four: The Graduation Recipe
  • Midterm Madness: Survive Your Midterm
  • Power in Numbers: The Importance of Forming Study Groups
  • Save Your Semester: Pass that Class
  • Test Smart: Successful Strategies for Exams
  • Time Flies When You’re on FACEBOOK: Time Management Skills
  • The “Write” Stuff


The purpose of Brother-2-Brother (B2B) is to recruit, retain, and graduate African American and Latino male students and prepare them as leaders within Northwest Indiana and globally. Among the subgroups of students at Purdue Northwest, African American and Latino males are least likely to graduate within four years. To increase the retention needs among African American and Latino male students, B2B established an array of learning opportunities to support students while enrolled at PNW. B2B endorses educational support services, cultural awareness, and academic leadership in order for African American and Latino male students to succeed at PNW.

GNS 10300 – Introduction to Higher Education

Designed to assist and guide students in maximizing their potential for success at the university by promoting academic growth, Introduction to Higher Education (GNS 10300 ) is the mandatory freshman seminar for students admitted into a Career Pathway through ACE. This course will emphasize utilization of campus resources, goal setting, and values exploration, the relationship of academic planning to life goals, career exploration, and critical thinking strategies.


Linda Atkinson (2013) Academic Center for Excellence Senior Retention Advisor, B.S. University of Wisconsin – Stout, 2007, M.S., Indiana State University, 2009

Deborah Beal (2011) Academic center for Excellence Manager of Student Academic Support, B.A., Rutgers University, 1986, M.B.A., Rutgers University, 1993

Sharon Gurn (2010) Secretary of Academic Advising

Jen Madgiak (2014) Associate Athletic Director for Academic Services and Senior Woman Administrator, B.A. Western Illinois University, 2008, M.S., Illinois State University 2011

Charnell Thomas (2014) Academic Center for Excellence Retention Advisor, B.S. Illinois State University, 1998, M.S.Ed., Northern Illinois University, 2006

Michael Wilk (2014) Academic Center for Excellence Student Academic Support Coordinator, A.A. South Suburban College, 2000

Oshunda Williams (2014) Academic Center for Excellence Retention Advisor, B.A. Wayne State University, 1998, M.A. Governors State University, 2004

Alicia Zaleski (2015) Academic Center for Excellence Secretary V, B.S. Indiana University – Bloomington, 1989

Honors College

John Rowan, Dean; Heather Fielding, Assistant Dean (on leave 2016-17); Vanessa Quinn, Interim Assistant Dean; Brandon Rukes, Program Coordinator; Chu Hui, Faculty Advisor; Amy Libauskas, Secretary.

Hammond Location: SUL Building Room 320; Phone: 219-989-3160; Westville Location: Technology Building Room 313; Phone 219-785-5327. Web site: www.pnw.edu/honors.

Mission: The Honors College at Purdue University Northwest is dedicated to enhancing the learning experiences of highly motivated and academically exceptional students. Students in the Honors College engage in advanced coursework, community outreach, substantive research, study abroad, cultural and social activities, and regular interaction with the university’s most outstanding students and professors. Through these kinds of special learning opportunities, the Honors College fosters academic excellence, critical thinking, vital leadership skills, social and civic responsibility, and other virtues required of outstanding citizens and leaders.

Application: Available at www.pnw.edu/honors. The application to the Honors College is separate from the application to the university. Although there are no firm criteria for admission, students with a high school GPA under 3.4 or SAT scores (or ACT equivalent) of under 1100 (verbal+math) will have difficulty being admitted. Applications, which require essays and letters of recommendation, are reviewed on the basis of academic achievement and promise, leadership potential, extracurricular involvement, personal character, and other factors relevant to the student’s overall potential.

Students are encouraged to apply as incoming freshmen, though there are some slots available for upper class students (transfer students or current Purdue Northwest students) who have completed no more than 66 credit hours and have a minimum of four semesters in residence remaining until graduation.


Scholarship ($2500/year, provided requirements are maintained)
Specialized courses with fellow Honors College students
One-on-one research opportunities with university faculty
Study Abroad scholarships available

No extra courses required; Honors College coursework is built into the student’s plan of study. (Plans of study available on the Honors College website or in SUL 320.)

Honors College Student Leadership:

Executive Board (Chaired by co-Presidents, one from each campus of PNW): VP Campus Life, VP College Media, VPs (2) Student Engagement, VPs (2) Student Mentoring, VP Student Research.

Committees: Academic and Cultural Events, Community Involvement, Newsletter, Social Events, Social Media, Yearbook.

Curriculum (Incoming Freshman):
HONR 11100 - Honors Cohort I   Semester 1
HONR 11200 - Honors Cohort II   Semester 2
HONR 21100 - Honors Cohort III   Semester 3
HONR 39000 - Junior Level Topics   Semester 4 or 5
HONR 39100 - Honors Humanities Topics   Semester 4 or 5
HONR 39200 - Honors Social Science Topics   Semester 4 or 5
HONR 40000 - Honors Capstone Project   Semester 6
Honors Thesis Semester 7/8
Honors Stacked Course Any of Semester 3-7
Honors Elective  


Curriculum (Upper Class Admission):
HONR 21200 - Upperclass Introduction to Honors    
HONR 39000 - Junior Level Topics   Semester 4 or 5
HONR 39100 - Honors Humanities Topics   Semester 4 or 5
HONR 39200 - Honors Social Science Topics   Semester 4 or 5
HONR 40000 - Honors Capstone Project   Semester 6
Honors Thesis Semester 7/8
Honors Stacked Course Any of Semester 4-7
Honors Elective  

Additional Requirements: Volunteer work; regular participation in Honors College activities; two annual individual meetings with Honors College advisor, program coordinator or dean.

Honors Thesis Option: Students not in the Honors College may submit a proposal to write an Honors Thesis. Students whose proposals are accepted enjoy benefits but do not receive a scholarship. Proposals should be submitted by the end of the student’s sixth semester. Interested students should contact the Dean.

Vision: Learn, Think, Lead


Foundations: Students will acquire knowledge appropriate to their chosen programs of study;

Perspectives: Students will be exposed to new and diverse viewpoints about humanity and society;

Exploration: Students will develop a love of learning and the ability, going forward in life, to learn how to learn.


Reflection: Students will consider carefully the foundational knowledge they acquire and the various perspectives to which they are introduced;

Analysis: Students will master the ability to scrutinize particular viewpoints and their underlying rationales in an effort to identify what is sound and what is invalid;

Synthesis: Students will learn how to assemble into a coherent whole the tenable components of the viewpoints analyzed.


Vision: Students will develop the comprehensive skills necessary to transform a coherent collection of tenable ideas into a tangible vision, complete with justification and prospects for feasible application.

Communication: Students will acquire the tools required to convey – verbally, in written form, graphically, technologically and in other ways – the substance of their visions to individuals, organizations and society at large.

Citizenship: Students will internalize the principle that individuals and institutions are part of a larger whole and will graduate with the understanding that outstanding leadership requires a strong sense of empathy and an ongoing awareness of how actions and practices can have local and global impacts.