“We’re a different kind of campus,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “We have part-time and full-time students as well as younger students as well as adults.”
Several programs have been put in to place to encourage college completion. A few years ago a campaign called “complete in four” was started and asked students to declare a graduate date.
“We found when we asked students when they were going to graduation, many didn’t have a clear date in mind,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “We wanted them to see the end of the light at the tunnel.”
Each student who participated got a button with their year and a card with an app that helped map out the four-year plan.
After success with that campaign, a program was created to push earning 120 credits. Each time a student reaches 30, 60, 90 and then 120 credits they receive a button that says “got 30,” “got 60,” and so on, all the way up to 120. Students also received a letter from Sciame-Giesecke that congratulated them each step of the way.
There has also been an initiative to encourage taking 15 credit hours, a pace that allows students to graduate in four years.
“We don’t want to make someone feel like they’re a failure if they can’t complete school in four years,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “We simply want them to set a clear plan on when they’re going to graduate.”
The overall goal is completion, a challenge the state has identified, Sciame-Giesecke said.
“We will continue to set a goal each year and move that needle as best as we can,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “We have always been focused on completion and will continue to be.”
THE MOST COMPLEXSTUDENT BODY
Ivy Tech is also focused on college completion. There has been an increase in graduation rates each of the last few years which result in awarding record numbers of credentials year after year, according to Jeff Fanter, vice president for student experience, communications and marketing at Ivy Tech Community College.