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Ivy Tech Drives Improved Outcomes for 21st Century Scholars Despite COVID-19

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 11:43am

By Ivy Tech Community College, news release

As part of the program, InsideTrack’s professional coaches work with students to help them develop non-academic skills necessary for higher education success.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Ivy Tech Community College, in partnership with student success nonprofit InsideTrack, has improved outcomes for its 21st Century Scholars for six straight years, nearly tripling two-year completion rates since the partnership began in 2014. The latest results demonstrate the ongoing initiative to improve persistence and completion rates among first-generation, low-income students participating in Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars program.

Ivy Tech’s fall-to-fall retention of first time, full time 21st Century Scholars increased to 52.7 percent, up from 50.6 percent last year and a historic average of 36.9 percent prior to InsideTrack partnership. The two-year degree completion rate for this group also rose from 11.8 percent in 2014 to 28.6 percent last year, including a 3.8 point gain in the most recent cycle. 

“The population Ivy Tech serves has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, because of the impact on their livelihoods, their family responsibilities and limitations in their access to technology,” said Cory Clasemann, vice president of student success at Ivy Tech Community College. “The proactive, relationship-based approach to student coaching we’ve put in place with InsideTrack has enabled us to meet students where they are at and support them in these most challenging and uncertain times.”

As part of the program, InsideTrack’s professional coaches work with students to help them develop non-academic skills necessary for higher education success, including time management, self-advocacy and effective communication. Through one-on-one meetings and ongoing digital communication via voice, email and text messaging, coaches help 21st Century Scholars identify long-term goals, connect with campus resources, and create plans to graduate prepared for career success. 

In 2014, Ivy Tech partnered with InsideTrack to develop the 21st Century Scholars Coaching Program through a statewide initiative coordinated by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education with support from the Strada Education Network. Since then, the partnership has been expanded to include coaching for additional student populations and training for Ivy Tech faculty and staff on ways to employ coaching techniques in their day-to-day interactions with students.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the challenges that too often derail students, especially those outside the classroom,” said Jessica Hector, associate vice president of partner success at InsideTrack. “Ivy Tech had the foresight years ago to reimagine its student support services—a strategic decision that continues to pay dividends, even through the unprecedented hardships we’ve seen over the past year.”

For more than 20 years, InsideTrack has worked with colleges and universities nationwide to enhance student enrollment, persistence, completion, and career readiness. A nonprofit member of the Strada Education Network, InsideTrack’s seasoned team of professional coaches, trainers, and consultants enables institutions to realize immediate impact as they build for the future.

For those interested in learning more, Mr. Clasemann recently sat down virtually with Ms. Hector to discuss Ivy Tech’s efforts to support students through the pandemic.

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