Purdue University North Central History

Following World War II, Purdue University offered courses in facilities loaned to the University by the Michigan City and LaPorte schools. In 1948 the Barker Welfare Foundation made the John Barker mansion in Michigan City available to the University and classes were held there beginning in the spring of 1949. Through the 1950s, enrollment at the Barker Memorial Center continued to grow, as did the population of the north central region of the state. In May 1962, Purdue University, through the Ross-Ade Foundation, purchased 160 acres south of Michigan City near Westville at a location that could best serve the residents of LaPorte and Porter counties. The new permanent campus opened in the fall of 1967. Since then, the campus has undergone many changes, indicative of the rapid growth and educational demands of the area. Additional land purchases increased the total acreage to 268.

The campus features three main buildings. Schwarz Hall, built in 1967, contains most administrative offices, and the Biology/Chemistry, Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics and Social Sciences academic departments. The Library-Student-Faculty Building, completed in 1975, houses the library, cafeteria and bookstore, the Dean of Students office, Office of Continuing Education and various student services offices. The Technology Building, completed in 1995, houses Information Services, Engineering Technology, Education, Business, Nursing, Communication, English and Modern Languages academic departments, the office of Enrollment Services, as well as other administrative services.

In 2001, Purdue North Central opened a site in Valparaiso, Indiana. Comprised of two buildings – the graduate building and undergraduate building – it is the primary site for the campus’ MBA program along with many undergraduate classes. In addition the graduate building is used for contract training and other continuing education activities.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education designated Purdue University North Central as a general purpose institution in October 1986. Purdue University North Central is accredited as a master's granting institution by the Higher Learning Commission.

Purdue University North Central is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, Ill. 60604-1413; 800-621-7440, inquiry@hlcommission.org. Accreditation attests to the quality of the faculty and staff, excellence of courses and curricula, and adequacy of facilities. Individual academic programs also are accredited by the following:

  • Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, 11520 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66213; 913-339-9356; www.acbsp.org.
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; 404-975-5000, or fax: 404-975-5020 or www.acenursing.org.
  • Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation, 1140 19th Street, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036; 202-223-0077; www.caepnet.org.
  • ABET (for Mechanical Engineering)
  • Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., 415 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201; 410-347-7700; www.abet.org (for Building Construction Management Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology, Industrial Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology).