Ivy Tech Community College reaches another enrollment record. Full-Time and retention numbers increase; reaching capacity at some campuses

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College continues to post record enrollment numbers.  With 111,452 students enrolled statewide for classes on Monday, Ivy Tech’s total headcount is up 4 percent compared to the first day of classes last Fall semester.

In addition, more students are taking more credit hours as the full-time equivalent (FTE) numbers increased by 6.4 percent for first day of Fall semester enrollment to a record Fall high of 69,656.  In fact the number of full-time students increased by 10 percent this Fall.

“Our increased number of full-time students is a very important number as it indicates that more students are enrolling and looking to complete a degree or certificate at a faster pace,”  President Thomas J. Snyder.

The college is not only flooded with new students this year, but a record number of returning students have continued on this Fall semester.  A total of 79,613 students have chosen to continue to pursue their education at Ivy Tech, an increase of nearly 10 percent compared to last Fall.

“We continue to be focused on ensuring that our students achieve their educational goals whether that is a short term certificate, a two-year degree or the attainment of credits that later transfer to one of our four-year partners.  An increasingly important measure of our success is student retention. The number of students we are serving has once again increased due in part to the number of students returning and continuing their education,” Snyder said.  “We continue to see capacity issues at some of our campuses.  We again increased our average class size, this term by an estimated 5-7 percent and our distance education enrollment increased by nearly 10 percent. The increased class sizes and the delivery of increased credits via distance education has been crucial to ensuring that we are able to serve a greater number of students.”

With the launch of this Fall semester, as part of its strategic plan Accelerating Greatness, the college has focused on new student interventions as an Achieving the Dream college in an effort to improve retention and completion rates.

Ivy Tech’s new strategies included a set of enrollment policies that took effect July 1.  Those new policies included a statewide, mandatory student orientation for all new, first time degree seeking students.  In addition, the college implemented mandatory advising and placement in student success courses based on assessment scores.  A total of nearly 23,000 freshmen enrolled this Fall, numbers larger than the entire enrollment of Ball State University and twice as many students as the entire enrollment at Indiana State University.

The college also implemented a consistent statewide payment deadline for all students registered for Fall 2010 courses, and Financial Aid Priority Processing Dates to ensure eligible students have financial aid to use before the start of the Fall semester. 

“As the only statewide Achieving the Dream community college in the country we are confident that our efforts will be a best practice on a national scale,” Snyder said.  “The National Governors Association recently released its Complete to Compete report that explains how comparable, reliable metrics are essential for states under current fiscal constraints. Some of that information includes the progress toward, and degree completion of, students in higher education.  Our efforts with Achieving the Dream should assist our state leaders in gauging where policies are successful and possibly help in informing future funding decisions.”

Indiana’s participation in Achieving the Dream also 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.

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.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students 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.

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