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Ivy Tech expands transfer initiatives

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TERRE HAUTE -- Ivy Tech Community College-Wabash Valley recently expanded its transfer initiatives with Indiana State University in an effort to improve the transfer process between the two state higher education institutions. In 2010, Ivy Tech-Wabash Valley had 114 transfer students who enrolled at ISU to complete a bachelor's degree.

One initiative has been ISU's increase in transfer scholarships. For the fall semester, 11 Ivy Tech transfer students are receiving a total of 19 scholarships totaling nearly $30,000. The scholarships were created to help offset the cost of books, housing, a computer and other expenses.

Linda Laffoon, ISU enrollment services coordinator at Ivy Tech, said the growth of transfer scholarships can be contributed to ISU President Dan Bradley, who was a transfer student himself and has led the effort to provide more financial assistance to transfer students.

ISU has more than 10 transfer scholarships, several of which are renewable for a second year.

These include the Transfer Student Scholarship, the Academic Promise Scholarship and the Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship for honor students at two-year colleges. These awards range in value from $1,500 to $4,000 a year.

Another initiative is the increase in services provided by the ISU enrollment services coordinator, who has been on the Ivy Tech-Wabash Valley campus for almost two years. Laffoon said she is identifying students with the potential to be successful ISU transfers as well as working early and often with dual admission students.

In that capacity, she tries to make the advisement process easier and guides Ivy Tech students on which courses to take. She explained that early communication from ISU helps Ivy Tech students get comfortable with the idea of going to the larger ISU campus and lets them see that they can find the same family-oriented environment of Ivy Tech.

Leah Allman, vice chancellor for student affairs at Ivy Tech, said that streamlining the dual admission and overall transfer process is an ongoing mission for her staff.

"Dual admission is one of our statewide transfer initiatives that offer many benefits to students. These include having their ISU application fee waived and becoming part of a communication plan that keeps students updated. The planning that can happen because of this relationship is crucial to helping our students successfully implement their academic program at ISU," Allman said.

John Beacon, vice president of enrollment management, marketing and communications at Indiana State said Indiana State continues to look for ways to improve its partnership with Ivy Tech and ensure the success of transfer students.

"By having a strong set of articulation agreements in place that were developed through collaboration between our campuses, any student transferring from Ivy Tech can expect a smooth transition to our campus that will lead to the completion of a four-year college degree," Beacon said.

Of the 790 new transfer students who began their enrollment at ISU this fall, 242 transferred from 21 of the 27 Ivy Tech campuses in Indiana. About half of all Ivy Tech students who transferred to ISU came from the Wabash Valley campus.

According to Allman, Ivy Tech students can make the choice to participate in dual admission from the first time they enroll at Ivy Tech. It's as simple as checking a box on the on-line application, which will admit them to Ivy Tech and provides provisional admission to Indiana State at the same time.

This assures students a number of services and opportunities as long as they complete the associate degree and meet other requirements.

The most recent initiative, launched by Ivy Tech and ISU in May, is the Transfer Back program. Melissa Hughes, director of outreach in the Office of Admissions at ISU, said this initiative was designed to reach out to students who have transferred to ISU with credits from Ivy Tech but didn't finish an associate degree.

Transfer Back gives students some flexibility in completing the associate degree at Ivy Tech. According to Hughes, the Transfer Back process involves ISU sharing a transfer student's transcript with Ivy Tech, with the permission of the transfer student. This allows Ivy Tech to review and transfer back ISU credits that will count toward the completion of an associate degree. Thus far, about 35 students have transferred back courses and six have completed their associate degree at Ivy Tech.

"We realize that all of these initiatives represent opportunities for both schools to pool resources for the maximum benefit of our students," Allman said. "As partners with a long history of collaboration, Ivy Tech and ISU will continue to look for ways together to help our students succeed."

For additional information on transfer programs, students should contact the Ivy Tech Student Success Center at (812) 298-2554.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.

Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.

It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.



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