Snyder: Workforce Training Critical to State’s Economy

In his second guest post, Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder tackles the following topic:

  • Tell us something that not enough people know about your college or university that makes it such a special place.

Much has been written about our growth as we are the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system. But we are also the state’s largest provider of workforce training. We offer contract and short-term training to companies throughout Indiana. 
In many cases short-term training is what many displaced workers look to during times of a career change. We have put rapid response teams in motion in various parts of the state to provide workforce training for those who need support during those difficult times.
In closing, I think it is worth sharing some numbers that paint the picture of our student body:

  • Average age of 27.5
  • 25% married
  • 18% minorities
  • 39% have children (roughly 14% single parents)
  • 60% of first-time, degree-seeking students receive financial aid
  • 9,726 on food stamps
  • 74% work (37% work more than 30 hours/week)
  • 66% attend part-time
  • 39% are first generation college students
  • After six years over 40 percent of our students graduate, transfer or are still enrolled
  • School of first choice for many. 10% of recent Hamilton Country grads went to Ivy Tech

Tomorrow: Purdue’s France Córdova

Snyder: Statewide Community College Funding Key for Hoosier Students

Higher education week on our blog continues as Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder answers the following question:

  • What is the No. 1 change you would like to see in Indiana’s higher education system that would help serve students better? 

I do not believe it would be accurate to say that I would want to see something change in Indiana’s higher education. Instead I would like to use the word “continue.” I hope to continue to see all stakeholders stay dedicated to the development of a statewide community college. 
This includes continued funding of Ivy Tech to assist us in handling the tremendous growth we have experienced. We are dedicated to ensuring the success of our students as is evidenced by our Accelerating Greatness strategic plan. We must continue to allocate resources toward our efforts in remediation and retention to get the over 150,000 students we serve a year to achieve their educational goals. 
We must continue to develop a seamless higher education system that makes the transfer of credits from Ivy Tech to our four-year partners easily understandable for our students. Our four-year partners have been just that, true partners in this endeavor and we look forward to continuing to work with colleges and universities around the state.
Finally as we look at our students and how we define success we need to consider other measures than just the IPEDS three-year cohort which looks at first-time, full-time students which is a small percentage of our student body. This is just one measure and ignores the fact that, in this group, more of our students transfer than stay to graduate. We are developing more comprehensive measures that Indiana citizens can use to assess student success.