2018-19 Academic Catalog 
    Mar 03, 2024  
2018-19 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Exploratory Advising

Exploratory Advising

Exploratory Advising is the academic home for PNW students who have not yet declared their major.  This includes students who are undecided about what they want their major to be and students who may have an idea of their interests but who are not admitted directly into their preferred college.

Student Goals

Students in Exploratory Advising have five primary goals:​

  • Take classes related to a pathway - or general area of interest - that allow for both exploration and timely degree completion
  • Explore their interests and strengths as they relate to majors and careers
  • Familiarize themselve with the majors offered at PNW - including the academic ontent in the major, qualifications needed to declare the major and career opportunities associated with the major
  • Connect their interests stregnths, and academic qualifications with a major offered at PNW
  • Declare their major within their first 45 credit hours of study

Academic Advising

Students in Exploratory Advising are assigned to an Academic and Student Success Advisor.  These advisors support students in their successful transition to college, major exploration process, and successful major declaration.  They assist students in planning courses that meet their interests, allow them to explore, and keep them on track to timely degree completion.  Academic and Student Success Advisors also connect students to campus resources to ensure students receive holistic support at PNW.

First Year Seminar

All first-year first-time students at PNW are required to take a first year seminar course.  Students in Exploratory Advising take GS 19100  which is co-taught by full-time faculty and the student’s advisor.  The class helps students successfully transition to college, facilitates exploration of interests and majors, and assists students in developing a plan for their PNW experience.

Academic Pathways

Academic pathways are clusters of academic majors with related courses grouped into a larger career interest area. Within each Pathway, two semesters of courses have been selected that apply to a variety of majors. These courses help students narrow down choices, so they can declare a major within their first two semesters. By the end of their second semester, student will declare a major with the help of their advisor

Exploratory Staff

Linda Atkinson-Pettee (2013) Assistant Director of Academic Success for Exploratory Advising, B.S. University of Wisconsin – Stout, 2007, M.S., Indiana State University, 2009.

Jordan Hallow (2018) Academic and Student Success Advisor, B.S Ball State University, 2015, M.A. Western Michigan University, 2018.

Paul Henderson (2018) Assistant Director of Academic Success for Exploratory Advising, B.A. Morehouse College, 1995, M.S. United States Sports Academy, 1998, Ph.D. Southern Illinois University, 2008.

Scotty Kessler (2018) Administrative Specialist, B.S. Calumet College of St. Joseph, 2012.

Nadea Khorbotly (2018) Academic and Student Success Advisor, B.S. University of Akron, 2008, M.E. University of Toledo, 2011.

Charnell Thomas (2014) Academic and Student Success Advisor, B.S. Illinois State University, 1998, M.S.Ed., Northern Illinois University, 2006.

Allison Vickers (2018) Academic and Student Success Advisor, B.A. University of Iowa, 2007, M.A. New York University, 2013.

Oshunda Williams (2014) Academic and Student Success Advisor, B.A. Wayne State University, 1998, M.A. Governors State University, 2004.

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 Supplemental Instruction (S.I.) Leaders. SAS services include Supplemental Instruction, Walk-in Tutoring and Success Workshops. Employment opportunities are available. For more information, visit our website or contact us - Hammond: Gyte Building, room 102, Phone: 219/989-3227; Westville: Library-Student-Faculty (LSF) Building, room 202 Phone: 219/785-5628; Website: www.pnw.edu/sas; Email: sas@pnw.edu.


Walk-in Tutoring is available 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 on our website (pnw.edu/sas) and by visiting the center for Student Academic Support on each campus.

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an 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

These free one-hour workshops focus on providing tips and improving skills needed to be a successful college student. They are held on both the Hammond and Westville campuses. The titles of some previously held workshops include:

  • Face-to-Face: The Importance of Meeting with your Professors
  • 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 Social Media: Time Management Skills


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

Paul Hendreson (2018) Assistant Director of Academic Success for Exploratory Advising, B.A. Morehouse College, 1995, M.S. United States Sports Academy, 1998, Ph.D. Southern Illinois University, 2008.

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

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.