Ivy Tech Community College ranks as one of the top colleges for part-time student success

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College ranks as one of the top community colleges in the nation when looking at the success of its part-time students.  Recent national benchmark data shows Ivy Tech part-time students have great success over a six year period.  The overwhelming majority of community college students are part-time.

Ivy Tech is:

  • In the top 17 percent in the nation with the percentage of part-time, first-time students who complete or transfer in six years.
  • In the top 19 percent in the nation with the percentage of part-time students who complete in six years.
  • In the top 21 percent for part-time students who transfer within six years.
  • In the top 23 percent for full-time students who transfer within six years.

Ivy Tech’s fall enrollment is more than 65 percent part time students.   Most of the part-time students are also in career fields working full-time.  In fact, just over five percent of Ivy Tech students take a full course load of 15 credits in a term.

“We have always felt that measuring our students’ completion success after just three-years does not accurately depict the efforts of our students.  While we certainly always want to improve any measurement of success, we are focused on benchmark data to better understand how Ivy Tech compares with other community colleges in the country,” Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder said.  “These numbers are impressive considering the complexity of our student body including 70 percent needing remediation.”

Current reports indicate even more Ivy Tech students are transferring as compared to previous reports.  In fact, Ivy Tech is in the top 50 percent of full-time students who transfer in three years.  Many transfer prior to earning a credential, one of the reasons Ivy Tech is in the lower quartile for degrees earned in three years by this same group of students.

“Our state does not encourage students to complete a degree or certificate at the community college prior to transferring,” Snyder said.  “In fact, in some measures a student who starts at Ivy Tech and leaves prior to completing a degree, but goes on to transfer his/her credits to a four-year institution and earn a bachelor’s degree, counts as a failure against Ivy Tech.  We need a better way to measure transfer and reward the Community College for its role in successful transfer students.”

The state of Indiana’s median household income is in bottom 16 percent in the country, creating challenges for potential higher education students.  And with the most complex student body in the state, Ivy Tech often works through these challenges with students more than any other institution in Indiana.  This includes a population of Pell grant eligible students that is the highest in the Midwest.  And the data shows the community college is doing it with limited full-time faculty.  In fact, 96 percent of other community colleges in the nation have a higher ratio of full-time faculty as compared to part-time faculty.

“Increasing the number of full-time faculty and our advising staff, as well as improving our lab and training space are the three main priorities for Ivy Tech during this budget year,” Snyder said.  “We know that all three play critical roles in the success of our students and the success of our state.”

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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