KOKOMO, Ind. — Three Indiana University regional campuses are partnering to give a boost to Ivy Tech students as they transfer to complete four-year degrees, by providing academic support and financial incentives.
IU Kokomo, together with IU South Bend and IU Northwest, share a three-year, $450,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation in an effort to increase the number of college graduates in Indiana.
“Our goal is to help more Ivy Tech students complete their two-year degree, and then attend IU Kokomo and complete a four-year degree,” said Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. “This grant will allow us to provide a transfer advisor, who can give personal support to all interested students. Working together with Ivy Tech faculty and staff, I know we can help more students in our region complete a college degree. I appreciate the support of the Kresge Foundation to achieve more pathways to a college degree.”
The grant will fund a degree pathway program to help Ivy Tech students transfer to one of the IU campuses and get the support they need to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. The goal of the program is to increase the number of college graduates in Indiana by investing in associate and bachelor’s degree completion at the regional level. It requires participating students to attend college full-time, maintain good academic standing, meet regularly with college and university advisors, and finish both the associate and bachelor’s degrees in no more than nine semesters.
The program provides students with academic support and financial incentives, including guaranteed admission; university advising and mentoring while attending Ivy Tech; scholarships that offset tuition increases; and advice to help students minimize college debt. In addition, Pell-eligible students who meet a minimum GPA requirement can apply for scholarships at these IU regional campuses to ensure that the combination of federal, state, and campus support will cover tuition, fees, books, lab, and other direct educational costs. Taken together, the program provides Ivy Tech students with an excellent, affordable, seamless pathway from an associate degree to an IU bachelor’s degree.
The grant will provide start-up funding for three full-time IU transfer specialists who will work on-site at Ivy Tech campuses, and also fund start-up of summer bridge programs piloted by the IU campuses. This IU initiative is modeled on a successful program at Governors State University (GSU).
The three IU regional campuses and Ivy Tech have already met to discuss naming the program, recruiting students, and collaborating on improving degree completion and reducing student debt.
The program aligns with two of the Kresge Foundations education program strategies: creating pathways to and through college, and building the capacity of institutions focused on low-income and underrepresented students.
The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America's cities through grant-making and investing in arts and culture, education, work in the environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit. Fostering greater access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income, minority and first-generation college students is the focus of Kresge's education grant making. In 2013, the Board of Trustees awarded nearly $20 million in grants to support higher education in the United States and South Africa, with half benefiting U.S. community colleges. For more information, visit kresge.org or follow @kresgedu.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.