Gary: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Indiana's public school standards were retooled in 2000 after an education group criticized the state for not challenging its youth. The standards are applied in Gary by the Gary Community School Corporation, which offers two special education facilities: Norton Park Academy and Lincoln Achievement Center; one career center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy; Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Center; and Chase Alternative Middle School. The Benjamin Banneker Elementary School has been repeatedly singled out by the state Department of Education for meeting high standards of attendance and aptitude scores.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Gary Community School Corporation as of the 2003–2004 school year.

Total enrollment: 17,381

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 20 (plus one preschool)

middle schools: 3

high schools: 7

Student teacher ratio: 18:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $34,738

maximum: $56,982

Funding per pupil: $10,800

Public Schools Information: Gary Community School Corporation, Public Information, 620 East 10th Place, Gary, IN 46402

Colleges and Universities

Indiana University (IU) Northwest, one of eight IU campuses in the state, had 5,138 students enrolled for the fall of 2004. Students can choose from more than 90 programs of study to earn certificates, associate degrees, bachelor's and master's degrees; popular majors are business administration and accounting. The university houses a nursing school and a medical research center. Faculty consists of 160 full-time and 160 part-time staff, 83 percent of whom have a doctorate or the highest degree available in their fields, and their expertise is concentrated into small class sizes with a student-teacher ratio of 14 to one. Full-time and part-time students are roughly half and half, and off campus sites "bring the college to you." Financial assistance is almost equally flexible. Career support programs help the alumni succeed beyond the classroom.

Ivy Tech State College's Gary campus focuses on business education, health and human services, and technical training Nearby Hammond is home to prestigious Purdue University Calumet. Purdue Calumet has more than 9,000 students enrolled and over 100 fields of study in which one can earn a variety of degrees from quick certifications to master's. Ivy Tech is a large commuter campus with over 165 acres, is three miles from downtown Gary, three miles from the Illinois border, and 25 miles from Chicago.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Gary Public Library has about 570,000 volumes plus CDs, nearly 15,000 items of graphic materials, more than 3,600 films and audiovisuals, and is a U.S. government depository. The library has five branches and one book-mobile. Its special collections focus on city and state history. The system also features free internet access, programs for children and seniors, and an African American history month program. Lake County has its own library system with seven branches, one in the heart of downtown Gary. It provides home service, programs for children and adults, special service to businesses, the Carol A. Derner Art Gallery, and literacy programs, among other services.

Indiana University Northwest Library contains a collection of more than 200,000 books and periodicals and as many government publications. Special purpose areas include the Calumet Regional Archives, the Northwest Indiana Center for Data and Analysis, Lake County Central Law Library, the Educational Resources Room, and services for the visually impaired. The library is backed by 7 million bound volumes and 26 million other materials in the systemwide Indiana University Libraries. Special Collections include an acclaimed series of photographs of U.S. Steel. At the University's Laboratories for Environmental Research, focus is on recycling of byproduct materials for basic industries.

Public Library Information: Gary Public Library, 220 West Fifth Avenue, Gary, IN 46402-1270; telephone (219)886-2484; fax (219)886-6829