This fresh vision reflects the great need for adult training and higher education throughout the state. Indiana's history is rooted in the pre-industrial and industrial economies, in which it competed quite well. Now Indiana stands at a crossroads, where it can embrace the past, but must prepare for the challenges ahead.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development estimates by 2014 there will be an additional 222,410 high-wage, high-demand jobs requiring at least a postsecondary degree.
"Ivy Tech remains the most affordable postsecondary choice in Indiana," said Thomas Snyder, president of Ivy Tech. "Combined with our role as the state's leading workforce training provider, it's clear Ivy Tech plays a more vital role in revitalizing our economy."
Four years ago, the state was ranked 41st in the country in percentage of working-age adults with an associate's degree or higher. It was ranked 43rd for providing workforce education.
Additionally, it is estimated up to 1.2 million employed Hoosiers have literacy skill levels below the minimum standard required for successful employment, and more than a half million working age adults have less than a high school diploma.
"Ivy Tech is inspired by the opportunity we have to help build a stronger Indiana, and is optimistic about the future," Snyder said.
During the past decade, Ivy Tech has experienced tremendous enrollment growth, making it the largest singly accredited statewide community college system in the United States. As more students discover the high return on a tuition investment, the college expects to grow even more rapidly.
By 2020, Ivy Tech envisions to achieve one of the highest graduation rates in the nation; be better aligned with Indiana's kindergarten through 12th grade system so more students will enter postsecondary education better prepared; and ensure every student develops a career pathway leading to success.
"Great careers can begin with a two-year degree," Snyder said.
To complete that mission, Ivy Tech has partnered with Putnam County schools to offer dual-credit courses. The free program provides students with the opportunity to earn college credit before graduating high school.
"Students can earn up to 15 credit hours before high school graduation," said Greencastle Superintendent Robert Green.
The experience, he said, also helps students in their high school course work and better prepares them for the college course work ahead.
Greencastle High School began with just 15 students in its dual-credit program seven years ago. Today, it has more than 50 students enrolled.
"We plan to expand and build on the program," Green added.
Ivy Tech continues to be the leading workforce training provider, offering certification and short-term training at its Greencastle campus. Its dual mission of serving both students and employers makes it a part of a unique tradition -- the American community college.
Nearly half of all undergraduates are enrolled at a community college and 40 percent represent first generations to attend college. In addition, community college graduates enjoy better employability and earning potential than those with high school diplomas alone, earning up to $400,000 more throughout the course of their careers.
"As Indiana stands ready to lead the nation, Ivy Tech stands ready to lead the way," said Snyder.
To follow Ivy Tech's progress in its new strategic plan, visit IvyTech.edu/AcceleratingGreatness.