IU East’s freshman class brings academic excellence to destination campus

When Chloe Anderson was deciding whether to go to a Big Ten college in her home state of Ohio or Indiana University East, she considered her options carefully.

Both colleges offered a full-ride scholarship and an excellent education. As a lifelong fan and Buckeye, the decision was difficult.

Freshman students have an opportunity to use the Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe and Eugene Cruz-Uribe Interactive Classroom located in Springwood Hall.

However, what drew her to IU East in Richmond was a welcoming environment from staff and faculty and the opportunity to be a campus leader instead of getting lost in the crowd.

“I liked how everyone cares about your education here and how they want to help you find your passion in life,” Anderson said. “At IU East I’ll have more of an opportunity to be a leader and to create more opportunities on my own.”

That passion is to one day be a physical therapist.

IU East was also close to home. Anderson, a graduate of National Trail High School, is from New Paris, Ohio, about a 15-minute drive to the Richmond campus.

The valedictorian, salutatorian and the senior class president from National Trail all chose IU East.

This fall, Anderson started at IU East to pursue her dream. She is part of the largest incoming freshman classes on campus. In high school, Anderson played varsity soccer and represented the team two years as captain; a member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA); National Honors Society, Preble County Rotary Honors Scholar, Student Council and vice president of her class.

At IU East, Anderson is a new member of the Honors Program. She is looking for other ways to be involved on campus.

Freshman students Katelyn Coddington and David Yocom are two of the nine valedictorian or salutatorian students who enrolled at IU East this year.

The Class of 2022 includes nine students who are ranked at the top of their high school graduating class academically. This represents the highest number of salutatorians and valedictorians choosing to attend IU East in a single year. They are from Fountain City, Connersville, and Winchester in Indiana and Bradford, Camden, Eaton, and New Paris in Ohio.

Four of the nine students are part of IU East’s Honors Program, an intellectually enriched curriculum for highly motivated students, allowing them to demonstrate academic excellence.

Michelle Malott, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said IU East provides a competitive option for students who want a top quality education.

“We have become a campus of choice. We’re seeing students who have multiple college options chose our campus,” Malott said. “Our faculty and staff work hard to create a welcoming atmosphere that provides a dynamic learning environment.”

IU East welcomed its largest incoming class this fall with 455 degree-seeking students. This freshman class is the most diverse and on average, are 18 years old.

Molly Vanderpool, executive director of Student Recruitment and Transitions, said IU East is a destination campus for many students in the region.

“We are excited about welcoming our largest freshman class ever in the 47 year history of the campus,” Vanderpool said. “These students are academically more qualified and diverse. We look forward to the great things these students will do as IU East Red Wolves!”

Anderson’s sentiment on the campus atmosphere is echoed among the incoming valedictorians and salutatorians enrolled in the freshman class.

David Yocom, Camden, Ohio, said he found IU East to be welcoming.

“The environment was very welcoming,” Yocom said. “Everyone is very friendly. It’s a very tightly connected community of people.”

The Preble Shawnee graduate is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in Mathematics. He hopes to become involved on campus through extracurricular activities as time in between classes and work allows.

“I chose IU East because of the vast scholarship opportunities as well as being relatively close to home,” Yocom said. “This campus markets toward academic achievement as well as it does to athletics. Here you can get good scholarships based on how you do academically.”

Located just 30 miles from Camden, Yocom added the reciprocity offered for Ohio residents living in the nearby counties of Butler, Darke, Mercer, Preble, Shelby and Van Wert in Ohio, was also an important factor. Through IU East’s tuition reciprocity agreement with Ohio institutions of higher education, Ohio students in neighboring counties receive in-state tuition rates.

“I found it very appealing and unconventional to offer reciprocity because of the campus’ proximity to where I live in Ohio. Because of that, it was very helpful and influential in my decision,” Yocom said.

Katelyn Coddington is a 2018 Adam W. Herbert Presidential Scholar, an Indiana University scholarship program that recognizes a select number of Indiana resident students who are the top achievers of the incoming freshman class.

Coddington is from Fountain City and a graduate of Northeastern High School. While at Northeastern, she was involved with the marching band and the Richmond Jazz Orchestra, which she plans to continue while in college. Additionally, she applied to be an Admissions Ambassador, a group of students that share their IU East experience and pride with potential students.

Coddington is pursuing a secondary education major in mathematics.

“I already feel at home here. I know where everything is and everything is so familiar,” Coddington said. “IU East isn’t a traditional campus – it’s still prominently a commuter campus – but it’s a very modern campus with technology and on the edge of what I was expecting.”

Both Coddington and Yocom attended Extreme Summer JUMPSTART, a program offered by the Office of Academic Support Programs gives students the opportunity to get a head start for college before classes and to experience academic success as they explore IU East. The program is the week before classes start.

Coddington and Yocom said the experience with JUMPSTART was something they would recommend to incoming freshman attending IU East in the future.

While IU East hosts several campus visits a year for juniors and seniors considering attending, the program coupled with their New Student Orientation provided extra guidance and assurance before the start of classes August 20 in line with the welcoming atmosphere already established by the campus.

“I chose IU East because it gave me an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” Coddington said. “I can come here and pursue my passion, which I decided later than most, and achieve what I want to become. It was the best possible choice for me.”