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Reaching Higher, Achieving More (RHAM) is organized around student success by “creating efficient pathways and incentives for completion of degrees and certificates, promoting productivity to safeguard affordability, and attaining a standard of academic quality that ensures Indiana’s college credentials are universally recognized for their rigor and value.”
The Completion section of the strategic plan identifies how to raise the overall completion rates of students at Indiana’s colleges and universities and to reduce the time it takes for students to complete degrees. RHAM advocates a three-pronged strategy: increasing the preparation of K-12 students, transforming remedial education, and establishing clear pathways for on-time completion. Key successes under the Completion section include:
Performance Funding. University funding from the State is based in part on the number of degrees conferred with a premium on at-risk and high-impact degrees, the on-time completion rate, persistence and remediation success. Degree Maps. All students at public colleges and universities will be provided with a semester-by-semester list of courses called a degree map that will provide the path to on-time graduation effective Fall 2014. Newly-enacted law requires colleges to offer these maps and to provide guaranteed availability of courses on maps (or offer the course for free in a future semester).
Degree Maps 101
Degree Map Guidance for Indiana's Public Colleges and Universities
1) Ivy Tech Community College developed a more effective “co-requisite model” and committed to provide all remediation through this model by the end of 2014.
2) Legislation now requires high schools to test students for college-readiness in 11th grade so that issues can be addressed before the student graduates.
3) The Commission adopted a resolution calling for the development of a new, integrated statewide system of remediation at the K-12 and higher education levels by 2015.
21st Century Scholars Supports. Supported by legislation, participants in Indiana’s early intervention promise program now participate in a Scholar Success Program to increase preparedness and have a network of mentors to help them through college. Advising Redesign. The Commission has conducted a study on advising and conducted a statewide convening of over 200 university officials to discuss the lessons learned and highlight national best practices for proactive advising.
Guided Pathways to Student Success
15-to-Finish Campaign. The Commission has partnered with Indiana’s colleges and universities to launch a campaign to inform students and their parents that the best way to graduate on-time and perform better academically is by enrolling in and completing 15 credits each semester and completing key math and English requirements early. Visit 15tofinishindiana.org for a complete overview of our campaign for student success. Call to Close Achievement Gaps. In March 2013, the Commission adopted a resolution calling on institutions to set targets for closing Indiana’s achievement gap between underrepresented student populations and the overall student population. In the resolution, the Commission set a target to reduce the achievement gap by 50 percent by 2018 and to eliminate the achievement gap by 2025. The Commission has published achievement gap numbers in its College Completion Report, to be discussed in the next section. Commitment to the Non-Traditional Student. The Commission has heard from over a dozen experts on the topic of non-traditional and adult students. The Commission then adopted a resolution in May 2014 calling for institutional and employer policy changes to help students balancing work and family with their education to complete faster and at greater rates of success. Indiana has received a private grant to take such policies to scale and will make recommendations to the General Assembly for this population for the 2014 legislative session. Return to Complete Initiative. The Commission is coordinating a statewide effort to provide encouragement, clear pathways and financial incentives to Hoosiers with some college but no degree to return and complete. Our goal is that 200,000 of these former students will graduate by 2020.
Download the full strategic plan "Reaching Higher, Achieving More"