Ivy Tech Community College Awarded $5 Million For Underrepresented Minority and Low-Income Students Program

Lilly Endowment grant supports new strategies to address the challenges affecting higher education

Indianapolis, Ind. – Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded Ivy Tech Community College a $5 million grant to help support the Ivy Achieves program, a student-centered effort to improve the retention and degree completion of Black, Latino, Native American, and first-generation college students.

Lilly Endowment made the grant through Charting the Future for Indiana’s Colleges and Universities, an initiative to help schools across the state improve their efforts to prepare students for successful futures and strengthen their long-term institutional financial sustainability.

Ivy Achieves is a program focused on equity, as low-income students of color and first-generation college students are more likely to have the least knowledge of higher education systems, and fewer social and financial resources. The program comprises five main components: app development; deliberate academic and career advising; student engagement; incentives for participation, including a free course retake; and evaluation and expansions. It will also have two separate advisory committees: external and student. Each campus will have a staff and faculty champion to lead the work and activity will be tracked using Ivy Tech’s mobile app, IvyMobile.

“Ivy Tech students earn the majority of associate degrees and sub-baccalaureate credentials in Indiana, which are critical to meet workforce demands and obtain middle- and high-skills careers leading to prosperity,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “We, and many other colleges, see lower course success, retention, and completion rates for our non-white students. Often this relates to these students being first in their household to pursue college, along with additional barriers to non-white students. Ivy Achieves will focus on supporting these students.”

In the Ivy Achieves program, students will earn “points” by participating in activities related to increased student success. Activities include, but not limited to: meeting with an advisor, visiting the writing center, acquiring all textbooks, and participating in student life activities. As they earn different levels of points, incentives can be earned. There will be one grand prize at the end of each academic year.

Students within their first 15 credit hours in select programs are eligible to retake a course for free in the next 8-week session if they embody the five Student Success Commitments, but receive a letter grade of a D or F. For students, the five commitments include: attend class, get to know your instructors and develop a relationship of trust with them; complete what you start; attempt each assignment; develop well-organized and disciplined study habits; and ask questions and use campus support resources, such as tutoring or Disability Support Services, when needed.

“Ivy Tech has developed wonderful resources for our students to be successful, but at times they are underutilized or unknown to them,” Ellspermann said. “With Ivy Achieves, we can ensure our students can fully take advantage of our student support services, embody our Student Success Commitments, and succeed in their courses. Our faculty and staff are also expected to uphold our Commitments which include: getting to know students by name and get to know them, giving immediate feedback when a student is failing, and offering flexibility where possible.”

Ivy Tech received this implementation grant under the second phase of Lilly Endowment’s three-phase Charting the Future initiative. In this phase, the Endowment invited proposals that present promising strategies that will result in economies of scale and other cost efficiencies to enhance the viability and financial condition of the institutions and prepare graduates for rewarding employment and to live engaged and meaningful lives, especially in Indiana. Grants under a third phase, which is competitive, will be awarded in 2021. Those grants will support collaborative efforts that seek to have large-scale impact on the ability of higher education institutions in Indiana to fulfill their educational missions.

“We are so grateful for Lilly Endowment’s support of our Ivy Achieves program,” Ellspermann continued. “Without partners and education supporters like Lilly Endowment, programs and initiatives at all of the 38 awarded institutions may not have come to fruition for our students. We look forward to seeing all of these efforts come to light in the next few years to benefit Hoosiers across the state.”

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. 

Ivy Tech, IUPUC Partner to Offer Affordable Pathway to Bachelor’s Degree

Ivy Tech Community College and IUPUC have partnered to offer students a more affordable pathway to a bachelor’s degree.

Effective this fall, Ivy Tech graduates who have earned an associate degree are guaranteed admission, based on select provisions, into IUPUC’s biology, criminal justice, or psychology programs via a Guaranteed Admission Agreement.

Aligning current best practices and the state’s established initiatives, the Guaranteed Admission Agreement spells out necessary coursework toward degree requirements at both institutions. Admission also comes with an application fee waiver.

“Ivy Tech provides the most affordable college education in the state and prepares students for rewarding, high-demand careers or transferring to earn their bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Steven Combs, chancellor of the Ivy Tech Columbus campus. “By collaborating with IUPUC, we can now offer our community a seamless pathway to a bachelor’s degree that makes sense financially and provides top-quality learning experiences from the excellent faculty at both Ivy Tech and IUPUC.”

This guaranteed admission eliminates any loss of credits while minimizing cost to students and ensuring they are able to complete their bachelor’s degrees on time.

“IUPUC and Ivy Tech Columbus have a long history of collaboration and this new pathway will provide many students with increased opportunities to seamlessly expand their education in a familiar environment,” said Dr. Reinhold Hill, Vice Chancellor and Dean at IUPUC.

For eligibility, students must enroll at Ivy Tech Community College and complete all course work for the Associate of Science degree and the Statewide Transfer General Education Core requirements, earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher, and meet any other eligibility requirements for their specific program.

“Students will have the advantage of earning an associate degree that prepares them for a career and to continue their education toward a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Jackie Fischer, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Ivy Tech Columbus. “The small class sizes, accessibility of our experienced instructors, and student support system will help ensure students are successful in completing their Ivy Tech associate degree and ready to transfer to earn their bachelor’s degree at IUPUC.”

Once students transfer to IUPUC, they will be awarded no less than 60 semester hours of transfer credit toward their bachelor’s degree and will be required to complete an additional 60 credit hours or more at IUPUC to complete the degree. Students must also meet IUPUC’s minimum grade requirements for specific courses and program requirement grade point averages.

“This type of program exemplifies the spirit of the Airpark Columbus Campus and we look forward to welcoming Ivy Tech students into the Crimson Pride family,” said Dr. Lori Montalbano, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs. “It’s great that we can provide a specific roadmap for students to earn a bachelor’s degree after they have completed their studies at Ivy Tech.”

Ivy Tech students who want to take advantage of this opportunity can work with their Ivy Tech academic advisors to confirm that their academic plan meets all the requirements.

Students can further maximize savings on their degree by taking advantage of scholarship and grant opportunities at both institutions, which is critical to Hoosiers now more than ever during the COVID-19 crisis.

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Ivy Tech and Purdue Fort Wayne enter guaranteed admissions agreement to benefit regional students

Ivy Tech Community College and Purdue University Fort Wayne are again partnering to create opportunities for northeast Indiana students. A new admissions agreement has been signed that gives students enrolled in specific Ivy Tech programs as of the 2020 fall semester guaranteed transfer to Purdue Fort Wayne bachelor’s degree programs.

Eligibility through the Guaranteed Admission Agreement will require a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Ivy Tech and completion of the associate degree.

“This new agreement provides the opportunity for students in Ivy Tech’s programs to envision a pathway to a four-year degree while maintaining focus on their two-year degrees,” said Kim Barnett-Johnson, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. “We know this focus on the future feeds the here and now and set our students up for long-term career success.”

“We are pleased to partner with Ivy Tech Community College to provide this opportunity for students in Indiana to easily and seamlessly transition from their completed Associate’s degree program to a Bachelor’s degree program at Purdue University Fort Wayne,” said Carl Drummond, Purdue Fort Wayne’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management.  “Not only will we be extending automatic admissions, but we will also have available transfer scholarships to recognize their hard work and success at Ivy Tech.”

Purdue Fort Wayne has agreed to 17 bachelor’s program areas where guaranteed admission will be offered utilizing Ivy Tech’s Transfer as a Junior associate degrees. These pathways include the following fields: accounting, biology, business economics, chemistry, computer science, criminal justice, early childhood education, education, electrical engineering technology, engineering technology, elementary education, finance, human services, information technology, management, marketing, mechanical engineering technology, money and banking, psychology, and visual communications.

Students interested in learning more about transfer opportunities with Ivy Tech, should contact askfortwayne@ivytech.edu or visit ivytech.edu/apply-now.

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Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.