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January 7, 2013

Students raise grades more than 12 percent on Blinn’s Brenham campus

College sees a 20 percent GPA increase in its largest residence hall

Students on Blinn College’s Brenham campus are having more success than ever thanks to improvements in the campus’s academic atmosphere.

Blinn’s home campus saw its grade-point average (GPA) for resident students climb 12.53 percent over the last year, from 2.15 in Fall 2011 to 2.45 in Fall 2012. Wheeler Hall, the largest residence on campus with 300 beds, saw a 20.76 percent GPA increase over last year, up to 2.35.

Dr. Dennis Crowson, vice president of student services, said he believes the GPA for on-campus students could reach 2.5 this semester.

“I think we’ve done a better job of removing the students that were not here to go to school,” Crowson said. “I expected an increase over last year, but not like this.”

Increasing the minimum GPA requirements for on-campus residents helps further Blinn’s commitment to providing a safer and more studious environment for learning while focusing on student success throughout the college experience.

“Success breeds success, and when our students are successful in our residence halls and on our campuses, they will bring other successful students,” said Blinn College President Harold Nolte.

This Fall, Blinn began requiring that students post at least a 1.5 GPA for residence hall eligibility. Additionally, the College instituted stricter guidelines to keep non-students off campus, including increased surveillance in residence halls and parking lots and restricting residence hall visitation between male and female students.

Crowson credited the efforts of Director of Student Leadership & Activities Mordecai Brownlee, Judicial Officer Keith Thomas, Assistant Housing Director Daniel Byars, as well as campus housing directors and police department.

“The majority of students were good students, but there were some other kids who were dragging everybody down,” Crowson said. “We want to make sure our students are here to go to school.”

All on-campus programs now require a student ID, and anyone who enters a residence hall is required to show identification at the door. The College also designated the hours after 11 p.m. as a “quiet time” when students are not allowed to loiter outdoors and are encouraged to return to their rooms.

Blinn has instituted a formal system for tracking student infractions. Per the resident’s housing contract, a letter is sent home if a student collects three “points” for conduct infractions. Collecting six conduct points earns expulsion from the residence halls.

“We’ve made our culture more of a collegiate setting for serious study,” Crowson said.

“When you walk down to the cafeteria now, it’s just a whole different feeling. Kids are having a good time, but they’re here for school now.”

Blinn has 12 residence halls and seven apartment buildings on its Brenham campus, housing 1,060 students.