News and Tribune

Floyd County

June 25, 2013

Low graduation rates plague Ivy Tech system

Only 23 percent earn diplomas within six years at Indiana community college

INDIANAPOLIS —

Indiana’s community college system, already grappling with a $68 million deficit, is facing scrutiny over its graduation rates as it works to shore up its role as the linchpin needed to close the state’s skilled-worker gap.

Just 4 percent of students at Ivy Tech Community College graduate within two years and only 23 percent earn diplomas in six years, according to state data. And that’s making state officials wary of pumping more money into the system if the results don’t improve.

“Is it a funding issue — or is it a completion issue?” said Marilee Springer, Gov. Mike Pence’s senior policy director. “We can keep driving money in, but that money needs to lead to degree completion. I don’t know if more funding is the answer.”

Ivy Tech leaders dispute the calculations, saying the state only counts “first-time, full-time” students — which Ivy Tech administrators say is not representative of the student body.

Ivy Tech says it guides about half of its students toward “success” within six years — but that definition includes students who haven’t completed degrees.

President Tom Snyder acknowledges that there’s room for improvement and that Ivy Tech falls behind similar institutions across the country.

“Are we doing this as well as we can as a system?” Snyder asked. “No.”

But he contends that reduced funding will translate into fewer degrees.

Ivy Tech plans to redesign remediation programs, create clearer paths to graduation and establish more one-year accelerated programs. The American Association of Community Colleges is also developing a “voluntary framework of accountability” to gauge community colleges’ performances.

Education advocates say that’s only a start.

“The first part of fixing a problem is, let’s look at the problem we’ve got and not be defensive about it,” said Cheryl Orr Dixon, senior vice president and chief of staff of Complete College America. “We are not patient with people who want to explain away data.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Floyd County
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.