“Mentors will advise direct admits on topics such as how to navigate through the first couple of years of college and how to choose from the many opportunities available to get actively involved early on. Mentors will also serve as a sounding board and a support person for direct admits,” Jackson says.

This year’s direct admit class is particularly enthusiastic about another perk of the program, MGMT 390 or Strategic Thinking and Decision Making, a class designed just for direct admits.

“I think it’s been a really cool class for me,” Bauke says. “It’s really opened my eyes as to what’s going on in the whole world. My class only has 19 people in it, so you get a lot of discussion, interaction.”

Carol Jacobson, visiting assistant professor of management, teaches the class. “I have approached this class as an opportunity to challenge the direct admits in terms of the complexity of their reading, the breadth of topics, and the writing requirements,” Jacobson says. “It has been rewarding to see the students accept these challenges and to note their growing skills over the semester.”

Direct Admit Class

Strategic Thinking and Decision Making (MGMT 390) was designed specifically for for direct admit students. (Photo by Mark Simons)

With a maximum class size of 25, classroom discussion is lively as students develop and explain their views on global issues. “The students begin by exploring their personal values and the role of values in leadership, then go on to grappling with decisions to resolve ethical dilemmas in international business. By reading current books about geopolitical issues, they discuss America’s role in the global political economy, with a focus on the Indian Ocean area,” Jacobson says.

“The students seem to appreciate the opportunity to gain knowledge about different cultures and countries. The international students are able to contribute firsthand knowledge and perspective about ‘their’ area of the world. I hope the students take away the idea that ‘what happens in Mumbai, doesn’t stay in Mumbai’ — we are all connected.”

The class inspired direct admit freshman Madison Schmid, a double major in management and economics. She traveled to Taiwan during spring break this year for her first college study abroad experience. “I went into the trip excited to experience a study abroad program and left with new international as well as Purdue friends. I learned more about Taiwanese culture, history, and language in four days of class than what I ever thought possible.”

Schmid credits Bearden, who steers direct admit students through the program and their first year at Purdue, for her support and guidance. “Debbi, obviously, has been amazing,” Schmid says. “Especially with her help, I’ve started to plan my study abroad trips and my semesters.”

The Direct Admit Program has been a great fit for Schmid. “From the very beginning they had a plan,” she says. “Here’s our plan. Here’s what you’re going to do. Here’s how we’re going to make you the best student you can be. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I went to any other school.”

Students qualify for the Direct Admit Program if they score 1220 on the SAT, 27 on the ACT and have an unweighted core GPA of 3.5 or higher. In its first year, the program includes 40 students from Indiana among its 45 females and 40 males.

For additional information about the Direct Admit Program or scheduling a campus visit, call (765) 494-1688, or email gklutzke@purdue.edu.

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