News release from IPFW:
Improved Technology Leads IPFW to Close Warsaw Center
(May 1, 2013) – When Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) opened its Warsaw Center in 2003, there was a need for classrooms so students could take their classes either through closed circuit television or from a teacher right in the room with them. In the last few years there has been a significant enrollment shift to Interactive Video Conferencing (IVC) at the center, where the Warsaw class is linked in real-time to a classroom on the Fort Wayne campus. And now, IPFW can stream or broadcast current IVC Fort Wayne classes â€˜live’ or on-demand to students’ mobile devices via the Internet, eliminating the need for students to travel to a central location. Due to those improvements in distance learning technology and changes in the study patterns of its Warsaw students, IPFW will be closing the center, effective May 31, 2013.
Executive Director of the Division of Continuing Studies Deb Conklin said that as on the main campus, Warsaw enrollments have grown in online and technology-based instruction. “IPFW currently teaches 200 unique online courses. Last year there were 49,323 credit hours taught campus-wide through online instruction. Annually, this represents 16 percent of IPFW’s total credit hours taught in fall and spring, and 41 percent of summer credit hours. Students report online learning helps them stay enrolled, keep their scholarships, and graduate sooner. It removes barriers and helps students manage work and family obligations, even when they travel for internship and study-abroad programs. As a result, a physical center is no longer serving the study patterns of our students. IPFW intends to focus resources on growing online and alternate delivery options for accelerated and special class schedules.”
IPFW will continue its relationships with the city and people of Warsaw. Chancellor Vicky L. Carwein said, “We will maintain our membership in the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, take part in related higher education planning, continue research, consulting, and customized corporate training services through our Offices of Engagement and Corporate Training. We will also seek input from community leaders regarding other needed services during the current IPFW strategic planning process.”
In the interim:
- IPFW will contact all students currently enrolled at Warsaw Center for summer and fall classes to arrange schedule alternatives either through online or webcast instruction for any scheduled IVC classes; students will be exempt for additional charges in changing to online courses.
- For scheduled face-to-face classes with minimum enrollments, IPFW will arrange for another meeting location in Warsaw or students can choose other options.
- IPFW staff will offer group student meetings at the Warsaw Center or individual scheduled appointments for interested students.