INDIANAPOLIS – Lumina Foundation for Education announced today that Ivy Tech Community College has joined the Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count. Ivy Tech joins 19 other community colleges in seven states in this latest expansion of Achieving the Dream, a national initiative dedicated to helping more community college students succeed, particularly those students who traditionally face the most significant barriers to success, including students of color and low-income students.
With the addition of these 20 colleges, the initiative has grown to include 102 institutions – 98 colleges and four universities – in 22 states.
Lumina Foundation has made a matching grant to provide first-year funding for Ivy Tech’s participation here in Indiana as well as for colleges in California, Illinois, New York and Vermont. The Greater Texas Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Vermont Community Foundation are providing grant support in the other states (Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina and Texas). In some cases, the colleges themselves are funding their participation in the initiative.
“Achieving the Dream colleges have successfully demonstrated that a student success agenda provides a clear, strategic direction for all levels of the campus community — from educator to administrator to student,” said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina’s president and chief executive officer. “Since Ivy Tech’s involvement reaches out to all of its campuses statewide, the impact of being involved with Achieving the Dream will be even more substantial.”
Indiana’s participation in Achieving the Dream includes a state policy component that is intended to create a policy environment that promotes student success. A statewide team of Indiana policymakers and opinion leaders will work to identify a set of state policy priorities that will eliminate barriers and create incentives to improve outcomes for community college students. Indiana will be joining 15 other Achieving the Dream states that have made similar commitments to improving their policy environments.
“With Ivy Tech’s commitment to providing quality higher education at the most affordable cost, students who may not have pursued postsecondary education are now doing so,” said Thomas J. Snyder, president of Ivy Tech. “As Indiana’s largest postsecondary institution, Ivy Tech can benefit substantially from Achieving the Dream. This initiative can help us better engage our students and enable us to develop institutional improvements that will benefit our entire system, and the state as a whole.”
Ivy Tech will focus on strategies and interventions to increase rates of student completion of remedial coursework; semester-to-semester persistence, course completion, especially of critical “gateway” courses; as well as overall graduation and completion rates. “We need to be very intentional in designing programs and support services to help ensure that students complete what they start and achieve their educational goals,” said Ivy Tech Provost Don Doucette.
Achieving the Dream helps participating colleges implement strategies designed to help more students earn degrees, complete certificates or transfer to other institutions to continue their studies. The initiative is built on the belief that broad institutional change, informed by student achievement data, is critical to significantly improving student success rates.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system with more than 130,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.
About Achieving the Dream
Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count is a national initiative to help more community college students succeed, particularly students of color and low-income students. The initiative works on multiple fronts — including efforts on campuses and in research, public engagement and public policy — and emphasizes the use of data to drive change. Achieving the Dream was launched in 2004, with funding provided by Lumina Foundation for Education. Seven national partner organizations work with Lumina to guide the initiative and provide technical and other support to the colleges and states. They are: the American Association of Community Colleges; the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas-Austin; the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University; Jobs for the Future; MDC Inc.; MDRC; and Public Agenda. MDC is the initiative’s managing partner.
About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation for Education is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college — especially low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Our goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.