Again, I would suggest that the college certainly seeks to provide students with career skills, but it also accepts that some of them may need more time to first discover where they’re headed.
Each of our students defines success in different ways. This point speaks to the greatest misunderstanding about Ivy Tech when it comes to completion. As mentioned above, many students enroll at Ivy Tech with no intention of leaving with a credential.
They likely need to find a more affordable way to start college before transferring to a four-year institution. This trend is meted out by Ivy Tech’s tremendous success in helping Indiana families save $32 million annually in avoided tuition costs as a result of transfer. Nevertheless, many of the community college detractors insist upon using graduation as the only measuring stick, a flawed, incomplete, and — quite honestly — lazy means of evaluating an institution with such a complex mission. As Marcus says, “A student may be in Ivy Tech for a short period of time and still be counted as a success, if we drop the expectation of certification. The issue is not for the students to meet the demands of the college, but for the college to meet the needs of the students.”
This is, in fact, precisely why Ivy Tech exists: to serve students. While it’s certain that Ivy Tech must help them pursue goals beyond their immediate reach, we also must insist that they — and not elected officials, pundits, or those with opaque political agendas — determine what success means to them. Perhaps Marcus’ understanding of this fact, from a distance, represents a shift in how others will look at the issue.
It must also be noted that Marcus’ piece also included some criticism of Ivy Tech.
While this makes his praise all the more credible since he is clearly not an apologist for the college, it also reflects some additional misconceptions about Ivy Tech.