Submitted On: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Analyst: Wills, Katherine
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) issued several important changes and policy updates to improve higher education completion rates.
1. Cut red tape for more distance learning options
Indiana joined 20 other states in an interstate initiative to facilitate distance education options. Indiana higher education institutions will implement instructional models that give students more flexibility for obtaining quality education online. “Indiana is embracing new pathways that offer Hoosier college students more options and greater flexibility in completing education beyond high school, “said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for higher education.
2. ICHE provides comprehensive data for future policy decisions
In order to understand better how to achieve higher completion rates, the Commission for Higher Education released the first Indiana College Completion Report (see http://www.in.gov/che/3032.htm ). Key takeaways from the report include the following:
a. Taking longer to complete degrees mean more cost and less chance for graduation.
b. Full-time student graduation rates are significantly higher than part-time rates.
c. Low income and minority Hoosier students graduate at lower rates.
d. Counting transfer students and degree changers increases the statewide success rate by 8 to 13 percent for 2-year and 4-year students respectively.
3. Promote competency-based learning
ICHE invited experts from Southern New Hampshire University and WGU to spotlight competency-based learning in post-secondary education. “Competency-based models and prior learning assessments provide students—particularly working students and returning adults—with greater flexibility and often a shorter, less expensive path to a college degree,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers.
For more information see http://www.in.gov/che/index.htm .