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There are several very productive and positive changes coming to the state’s higher education system. These policy changes, emanating from Senate Bill 182, will help to facilitate transfer among the seven public institutions and accelerate degree completion.
The current Core Transfer Library (referred to as the CTL), which legislatively guarantees that CTL coursework will be universally accepted at all seven state schools, will remain in place. This is extremely beneficial for dual credit students, who can earn dual credit from Ivy Tech at no cost, save money on college while in high school, and earn credits that transfer to the six partner schools—plus many others. The CTL is being expanded to add more clarity to it, which will also be helpful.
More important, the State Transfer and Articulation Committee is working on the Transfer General Education Core. This is a competency-based model that ensures students will receive credit for an entire block of general education courses. This enables, in particular, Ivy Tech students to earn a transfer certificate that will be guaranteed to meet the general education requirements for all state supported schools. The Transfer General Education Core will also facilitate direct degree-to-degree transfer, eliminating the need for the confusing web of articulation agreements now in place.
I anticipate these changes will be in full force by next summer, but many students are taking advantage of them now. Our local transfer numbers have exploded — from 321 to 560 — as the pathways have become clearer. This is a conservative number, as it represents the transfers to state schools only. Our goal is to have 1,000 transfers annually by 2015. The local pathways from Ivy Tech to Purdue College of Technology in Columbus have become particularly friendly for our students, as their degree programs align especially well with those of Ivy Tech.
Ivy Tech is embarking on an advertising campaign that will highlight the local degree opportunities, including transfer to IUPUC and Purdue College of Technology. We will focus on the amount of money students can save over four years by completing two years at Ivy Tech before transferring. This will be particularly attractive to the some 5,000 students in the region who earn dual credit at Ivy Tech each year, as they will hopefully borrow less and save more. Creating transfer pathways will increase degree completion and lower student loan debt. This is important, since over 95 percent of our students remain in the region after they leave Ivy Tech.
In short, these developments, involving Senate Bill 182, the Transfer General Education Core, and the creation of transfer pathways, will eliminate all of the guesswork for transfer students, parents, guidance staff, and faculty members. Once enacted, these changes will catapult Indiana in front of many other state systems.
John Hogan is chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College – Columbus/Franklin.
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