Earlier this spring, an Associated Press story painted a bleak picture of the future of community colleges, but that picture doesn’t represent the bright future and growing opportunities students in Indiana have when they choose Ivy Tech Community College.
In fact, our reality is quite the opposite. In recent years at Ivy Tech, enrollment is up, completions are up, degree tracks and certifications have expanded, and new programs are increasing overall student success.
Many of these programs and approaches are possible because of partnerships and funding provided by employers in the state, our donors and the foresight of our state legislature, which established Ivy Tech 60 years ago and continues to support the College and create opportunities for Indiana students to connect with educational offerings.
Earlier this year, we launched our new strategic plan, Higher Education at the Speed of Life. We’d like to share just a few of the ways we’re innovating around higher education:
Ivy+ Tuition and Textbooks: We’ve kept college affordable with a low tuition rate, flat tuition for full time students regardless of the number of credits registered in a semester, and a low per-credit-hour textbook rate that guarantees day-one access and affordability to required materials. No other accredited college in Indiana is as affordable as Ivy Tech.
Ivy Achieves: First-generation college students and those who identify as Black, Latino or two or more races are mentored through Ivy Achieves to establish key habits for student success, such as creating an academic completion plan, registering early for classes and working with an advisor.
Ivy+ Career Link: Our reimagined career services group focuses on helping students find a fulfilling career path, honing the employability skills, giving students access to a career coach, and partnering with employers to connect and interact early with students who are skilled and ready to meet the demands of the world of work.
Ivy+ IT Academy: Established this year to meet the needs of the growing Indiana tech industry, the IT Academy allows students to earn accelerated non-credit certificates in as little as a few days or weeks, teaching them the skills they need to enter the workforce or to expand the skills of working professionals.
Student-First Approach: We’re reducing the headaches students often have with higher education by doing away with policies such as transcript holds. If a student needs a transcript but owes the College money, we won’t hold them hostage from having the information they need to continue their journey at another institution. Since lifting this hold, we’ve helped almost 4,000 students with that next step by supplying their transcripts.
We’re also working hard to find financial assistance for all students who need it, and that combined with our already affordable approach to tuition, fees and textbooks makes it possible for 80% of our students to graduate with no student loan debt.
These are just a few ways we’re transforming higher education to move faster, produce more value and create more opportunity for students and communities in Indiana.
Sue Ellspermann President,
Ivy Tech Community College