'Engaged' students do better academically

Dec. 6, 2011 at 1:38 PM
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Activities outside the classroom improve student retention and academic performance, a study at Purdue University found.

"Students often have the misconception that they can't be involved in activities because it slows their academic progress and prevents them from getting a degree or getting a degree on time," Lee Gordon, assistant vice president for student affairs, said.

However, a study found 51.8 percent of "highly engaged" Purdue students earned 15 or more credits per semester with a 3.0 or higher semester grade point average compared to all students at Purdue, out of which 36.8 percent earn 15 or more credits and a 3.0 or higher GPA, a Purdue release said Tuesday.

The "highly engaged" students are from five co-curricular programs at Purdue: aerospace studies/Air Force ROTC, military science/Army ROTC, bands and orchestras, naval science/Navy ROTC and Purdue Musical Organizations, all requiring up to 20 hours a week for part or all of an academic year.

"We think students in other organizations, particularly the student leaders, also do well academically," Gordon said.

"Students engaged in group activities find and develop time management skills and take care of their schedule because they have to in order to get everything done," he said. "They then find it's a way of life. They become quality time management leaders, and this serves them well after they leave Purdue."

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