Ivy Tech wins $784,000 to re-enroll former students

September 29, 2010

Ivy Tech Community College wants to re-enroll former students who earned numerous credits but not enough for a degree, in an effort to boost college attainment in Indiana.

To help, the community college system will get $784,200 from Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation for Education—part of $14.8 million the non-profit is doling out to 19 groups around the country on Wednesday.

Ivy tech will seek out former students who amassed at least 45 credits toward an Ivy Tech associate’s degree. It hopes to have 1,000 students earn degrees in the next four years. It then hopes that those graduates will move on for bachelor’s programs at Indiana University, which has agreed to accept IvyTech credits toward bachelor's degrees.

Lumina’s grants are part of its work to boost the proportion of Americans with college-level degrees or professional certifications to 60 percent by 2025. Right now, about 39 percent of Americans hold two- and four-year degrees.

The latest round of grants is aimed at the roughly one in five American adults who have college credits but no degree. Lumina hopes that in four years, its grants can help 6.6 million people earn degrees.

“There is growing evidence that adults who have gone to college but not received a degree are looking for a second chance but need the right kind of information and motivation to help them succeed,” said Lumina CEO Jamie Merisotis, in a statement. “Given demographic trends and attainment rates among young adults, it is highly unlikely that the nation can meet its growing need for college-educated workers only by focusing on recent high school graduates.”

Other programs Lumina is funding include an effort by Indiana to align educational pathways with the manufacturing skills certification system operated by the National Association of Manufacturers. That effort, led by the Washington-based Manufacturing Institute, is already under way in four other states.

Also, a group of employers in the Louisville area will use $800,000 from Lumina to help 200,000 employees complete a degree for which they have already earned some college credit.



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