Ivy Tech Community College will double the number of credentials it confers on students while reducing its number of employees over the next five years. At least that’s the plan Sue Ellspermann, president of the community college, presented to the regional board of trustees Tuesday in Bloomington.
A central part of Ivy Tech’s new strategic plan is to increase the number of high-quality certificates, certifications and degrees students receive annually from about 21,000 to about 50,000 by 2023. High-quality certificates allow a person to get a higher-paying job, Ellspermann said.
Growing the number of students with post-secondary credentials is critical for meeting the state’s workforce needs. Ellspermann referred to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s recent State of the State address, in which he said there are 85,000 jobs in Indiana that are unfilled because employers can’t find people with the necessary skills.
One way to reach the credential goal is by increasing the number of reverse transfer degrees. Students who transfer from Ivy Tech to a four-year institution are eligible for an associate degree once they reach 60 credit hours. Telling those students about their eligibility is important because not only does it increase the likelihood that they’ll obtain a four-year degree, Ellspermann said, it gives them some kind of credential if they don’t.
Knowing when those students reach 60 credit hours is up to the institutions they transfer to. Ivy Tech now has an agreement with all the state’s four-year public, and some private, institutions to share that information.