Trine welcomes 400-plus freshman class

August 20, 2013

ANGOLA, Ind. – Trine University welcomed its fourth straight freshman class of more than 400 students and debuted changes and upgrades when classes started today (Aug. 20).

The class of 2017 has a higher grade point average than previous classes and 20 percent were in the top 10 of their high school classes.

"We're pleased to have more than 400 in the freshmen class at a time when many schools are experiencing a decrease in enrollment," said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president. "We'll continue to focus on rigorous academic standards, a low student-to-faculty ratio and competitive scholarships and financial aid to help our students succeed."

"Trine graduates have been highly sought after because of their job-ready skills and real world experience and we want to continue that trend," Brooks said.

This is also the first freshmen class to be offered Trine's lifetime guarantee that promises, among other things, that students graduate in four years or the fifth year of tuition is free.

Trine's growth is also fueled by its retention success and efforts.

The student retention team, led by Kim Bennett, assistant vice president for enrollment management, has adopted changes based on student feedback and created a culture of awareness on campus.

"We have implemented initiatives campus-wide, such as student focus groups, second-year student surveys and complete review of academic advising; increased the focus on a holistic approach to include residence life, financial aid and academics; and are using a new software system to help track changes," Bennett said.

Other campus initiatives

Just as retention efforts seem to have hit on a winning system, so has Innovation One, which is also marking its first anniversary.

Innovation One (i1), Trine's incubator for new ideas and support for new and existing businesses, has completed more than 30 projects and has formed partnerships with area business and industry.  i1 offers assistance in a variety of areas, including testing, research and development, marketing and prototyping.

To learn how your company or idea might benefit from a partnership with i1, contact Tom DeAgostino, director, at, or Michael Bock, senior vice president, at

Despite such accomplishments, Trine continues to push forward and is enrolling students in its emerging Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in Fort Wayne. The program aims to help meet the national need for physical therapists with doctorate degrees because that field is one of the fastest growing in the nation.

"We continue to partner with Parkview Health System and Lutheran Health Network for clinical education and we're also partnering with Turnstone for clinical education opportunities," said Max Baumgartner, dean of the School of Health Sciences. Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities, Inc., is dedicated to providing therapeutic, educational, wellness and recreational programs to empower people with disabilities.

For more information or to apply to Trine's emerging DPT program, visit

Campus improvements

The Jim and Joan Bock Center for Innovation and Biomedical Engineering is finished and the former campus operations structure is being transformed for use by engineering students.

The Bock Center's south end is anchored by a cast metals lab while the north end has a new plastics laboratory to support Trine's plastics engineering curriculum, which is offered for the first time this year. Other labs in the building include rapid prototyping, materials testing and motion analysis.

The two-story building, located between Fawick Hall, home of Trine's Allen School of Engineering & Technology, and the Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center, also houses i1, additional classrooms and Career Services.

The engineering program also gained space with the former campus operations building. That building's north side is used for the senior design center, a place for senior engineering students to work on projects, with the south side reserved for installation of the supersonic wind tunnel. The tunnel was removed from the aero building that was torn down to make way for the Bock Center. Plans call for the supersonic wind tunnel to be re-installed before the winter semester.

The sound of music

Renovation and expansion of the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts, scheduled for completion in spring 2014, will enable Trine to bring its music program back to campus from its rented quarters in downtown Angola. The theater program will also be at Furth.

Next up for revitalization is Ford Hall, home to the Ketner School of Business and the Rhoads Center for Entrepreneurship. Ford is slated for a facelift and interior renovation.  The exterior will be cloaked in brick and topped with a green metal roof to match other campus buildings.

The interior space will be revamped for new classrooms, labs, enhanced technology and faculty offices. The start date is spring 2014 for exterior renovation with interior demolition to follow.

Graduation from a physical therapist  education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone, 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Trine University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program will submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

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