INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College has experienced a significant increase in the Fall to Spring retention rate of students who took part in the Achieving the Dream initiatives as compared to those that did not take part in those initiatives.
Achieving the Dream is 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.
As part of the national initiative, Ivy Tech has focused its efforts on increasing success rates in remedial coursework, successful completion of courses in general, Fall to Spring semester persistence, as well as overall graduation and completion rates.
Three programs were implemented for the Fall 2010 semester for students new to Ivy Tech, including new student orientation, advising and student success courses. While these activities had been optional in the past, they were made mandatory for most new Ivy Tech students. Of those students that completed all three activities, 83 percent completed the Fall 2010 semester and registered for the following Spring semester, which is 20 percent higher than those students who did not complete any of the three activities.
In addition, pass rates in remedial courses taken during the Fall 2010 semester were significantly higher among those students that took part in the mandatory face-to-face new student orientation program and in the students success courses when compared to students that did not participate in those offerings.
“We are very pleased with the early results,” said Thomas J. Snyder, Ivy Tech President. “So many of our students are working adults with families, and we need to assure that students with the greatest risk of not succeeding have access to these additional resources, so they can persist to graduation and ultimately land a good paying job. As we continue to enhance our orientation, advising, and student success courses, as well as apply other initiatives it is our hope that these early indications of improved persistence and pass rates will have an overall positive effect on our graduation rates.”
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’s persistence rates have been above the median for public colleges taking part in the National Community College Benchmarking program.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech 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.