In a time of crisis, Ivy Tech guest student program provides a much-needed option

By Dr. Sue Ellspermann, President, Ivy Tech Community College

During the past month, I have been tremendously impressed by the ingenuity and responsiveness of America’s higher education professionals. With little notice, colleges and universities across the nation moved classes to virtual and online formats and found new ways to provide the services students depend upon as they pursue their educational journey. While I’m most proud of the efforts made by Ivy Tech Community College faculty and staff, it is clear that all institutions share a strong commitment to students and their families.

At Ivy Tech, we see many college students ably navigating the changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and successfully completing their coursework. We are hearing from faculty of the resiliency and commitment of our students across the state. We also know, however, that some students risk falling behind as they juggle competing priorities with school, work and home as they deal with the pandemic’s devastating effects. Further, many parents and guardians are wondering if they can afford for their students to continue in college. With this in mind, Ivy Tech has committed to providing all students with another pathway by increasing our capacity to serve guest students via online and virtual classes. This has long been a strength and competency of Ivy Tech, but it has never been as relevant as it is right now.

What is Ivy Tech’s guest student program? It allows students who remain enrolled at their home four-year institution to earn credits at Ivy Tech’s affordable tuition rate (lowest in the state), then transfer those credits back to their home institution. It’s truly the best of both worlds: students continue to progress toward a degree from their institution of choice while enjoying the tremendous flexibility that Ivy Tech’s online and virtual classes provide. Students can take classes this summer, or add Ivy Tech classes to their existing summer schedule at their home institution. Best of all, Ivy Tech’s affordable tuition means guest students can save money during these challenging times while accelerating their progress toward graduation.

Ivy Tech makes it easy to enroll as a guest student. The process starts with a free application, which can be completed at IvyTech.edu/Guest. Everything can be done online and with virtual services to support students every step of the way.

As we continue to withstand and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, our state and country will benefit from having more bright minds and talented students succeeding in college and prepared to enter the workforce in high demand careers. Through our guest student program, Ivy Tech can help make that vision a reality and give students some much-needed affordability and flexibility.

President Ellspermann is Ivy Tech Community College’s ninth president and oversees the largest singly accredited statewide community college system in the nation. She has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, economic and workforce development, and public service.

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