The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Education

February 23, 2014

Ivy Tech officials working to improve college completion rates

INDIANAPOLIS — Ivy Tech Community College officials said they're doing a better job of graduating students than the results of a new study released by the state Commission for Higher Education suggest.

It's all how you calculate the numbers, they said.

The report released last week by the commission shows that a high percentage of Indiana college students are taking a long time to graduate, which can lead to both higher costs and lower success rates.

Only about 3 in 10 students who enroll at an Indiana four-year campus graduate on time and only half finish within six years, according to the study.

At the state's two-year campuses, fewer than 1 in 10 students finish on time and only 12 percent graduate within three years.

At two-year schools, 5.1 percent of attending students finished on time at the same campus, and 15.2 percent finished their degree work late, but at the same campus.

At Ivy Tech, 3.8 percent of students who began degree programs on one campus completed their work on time, while 15.6 percent of students completed degrees late.

The report is based on data going back six years for community college campuses and the class of students entering in 2007, and eight years for the four-year colleges and universities.

All Indiana Ivy Tech locations were included in the report. Separate results for Ivy Tech's East Central Region, which includes Madison County, were not broken out.

According to the study, 8.2 percent of students who began their degrees at one Ivy Tech location but transferred to another campus, or completed a different type of degree raised the overall completion rate to 27.7 percent.

The problem with data used in the commission report is it doesn't reflect the reality Ivy Tech students face in their daily lives, or the method the community college has traditionally used to measure student completion rates, said Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder.

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