Ivy Tech Community College has initiated a three-year research study with RAND Corp. to examine the school’s Achieve Your Degree (AYD) program. Launched six years, AYD is a partnership between Ivy Tech and community businesses and institutions to offer employees the opportunity to receive a community college education at minimal up-front cost.
The study will provide a detailed, first look at the AYD program across Ivy Tech’s 19 campuses to inform continuous improvement in the program.
Ivy Tech says the study will focus on learner level outcomes, including persistence from first to second year, credential completion, time to obtain a credential, and labor market success and upward social mobility.
“Our initial data demonstrates that Achieve Your Degree students are retained at an 8% higher rate than students who are not served by the AYD program,” said Molly Dodge, Senior Vice Presidents of Workforce and Careers at Ivy Tech. “ With the results from this study, we hope to understand how we can increase those success rates and enrollment in the program in collaboration with even more employers.”
The nonprofit organization, Ascendium, is providing funding for the study.
Data retrieved from the study is expected to improve the AYD program and guide the implementation of similar programs for low-income learners across the nation’s community college campuses.