News and Tribune

May 17, 2008

A new-school approach: Ivy Tech, IU pairing will eliminate duplication of associate degree programs

By TARA HETTINGER

After seven years in the making, Indiana University campuses across the state will eliminate many associate degree programs that overlap with Ivy Tech Community College’s offerings.

In 2001, the presidents of the two schools signed an agreement that the Indiana Commission for Higher Education proposed, saying they would align curriculum, having IU focus on bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Ivy Tech focus on associate degrees.

Now, the sides have come together to make that agreement a reality.

Over the next three to five years, IU campuses will phase out associate degree programs that Ivy Tech offers. However, they will retain programs that aren’t available at the community college campuses.

Within the next three years, IU Southeast will eliminate the general studies associate degree. In five years, it will cut the associate degree program in computer science.

IUS will keep its two-year journalism program, pending review in five years or sooner if Ivy Tech offers a comparable program, according to the agreement.

Gilbert Atnip, vice chancellor for academic affairs at IUS, said the changes will not effect any current students.

“IU is fully committed to a partnership with Ivy Tech that will provide a complete range of educational opportunities for Indiana citizens,” said Michael McRobbie, IU president. “Our goal is to establish a seamless system that gives all Hoosiers access to the high-quality degree programs they need to prepare themselves for the work force and the changing world.”

Don Doucette, senior vice president and provost for Ivy Tech, said this has been a long, gradual process, and he’s happy to see it all come together.

“This keeps us from bumping into each other and it puts us in a position where we just work together to provide higher education in the state,” Doucette said.

He said this arrangement will help Ivy Tech gain students by offering associate degrees that IU doesn’t. However, he said that will pay off for IU, too.

“This way, we’ll be creating more and more students that will be eligible for transfer,” he said.

Atnip said this helps brings the two schools together to concentrate on one common goal.

“Our interest is always in providing quality education for the students,” he said. “That’s what we’re focused on.”