Ivy Tech Community College Awarded $2.2 Million Lumina Foundation Grant to Expand Nationally-Recognized Accelerated Associate Degree Program (ASAP)

INDIANAPOLIS— Ivy Tech Community College’s nationally recognized Associate Accelerated Program (known as ASAP), which was launched in the Fall of 2010, will now be expanded to all campuses in the state by 2016 after receiving a multi-million dollar grant.

Lumina Foundation’s grant of more than $2.2 million allows for the one-year accelerated associate degree program to be expanded from the four campuses where it is offered now – Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Indianapolis and South Bend – to all Ivy Tech campuses across Indiana.

“We are pleased to contribute to the success of Ivy Tech’s accelerated associate degree program,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “The Foundation’s partnership with Ivy Tech will help ensure that many more students in Indiana will be able to complete a quality postsecondary education in a timely and affordable manner.”

“We feel very fortunate that Lumina Foundation has made this contribution to furthering the success that ASAP offers students,” said Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder. “This grant will allow for students across the state, not just those in select areas, to have the chance to get an education and enhance their opportunities in the work force.”

Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) provides at-risk high school students the opportunity to earn a marketable and transferable associate degree in just twelve months, rather than the traditional 2-year timeframe. The students that are chosen for the program are identified while still in high school.

After 12 months in the program, 86 percent of ASAP students have earned a degree or are still enrolled. This rate is five times better than the average Ivy Tech Community College student. Retention rates for those students participating in the program are 10 percent higher than Ivy Tech’s overall retention rate.

ASAP serves graduating high school students who are prepared to enter college, but who face obstacles, especially challenges associated with poverty. The program offers students a chance to get a college degree in one year. Depending on the student’s eligibility, they may be able to complete the program at little to no cost. The students attend school full time, almost 40 hours a week, which allows them to graduate in a year. Most students take two or more years to complete the same degree.

“The ASAP program is set up like a workplace with deadlines and full days every day of the week,” said Anthony White, who graduated from the program in 2011. “I feel that it’s prepared me for a demanding job. We also learned time management skills, which will be very useful to me in the future.”

The ASAP students can get a degree in General Studies, Health Care Support, Computer Information Technology and Business Administration. ASAP prepares students to graduate and enter the workforce immediately or transfer to a four year institution. Seventy percent of ASAP students plan to earn a workforce credential and start a career in their chosen field while pursuing additional post-secondary education.

The degree is about more than just a quick start, it includes many other services. The students of this program attend as a group, which allows them to form a learning community and provide peer support for each other.

Esmeralda Alvarez, another member of the 2011 graduating class, says the support she received from others was central to her success as an ASAP student. “One of the best things about the program is the strong relationships I built with our teachers and the other students,” Alvarez said.

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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