INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Ivy Tech Community College today announced a partnership with RAND Corporation to conduct a three-year research study on the Achieve Your Degree (AYD) program. The nonprofit organization, Ascendium, is providing funding for the study.

The study, led by RAND Corporation, will provide a detailed, first look at the AYD program across Ivy Tech to inform continuous improvement in the program and other Ivy Tech programs focused on low-income working adult learners. 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.

Ivy Tech launched AYD six years ago, originally at the Evansville campus, and has since scaled the program statewide. AYD is a partnership between Ivy Tech Community College and community businesses and institutions to offer employees the opportunity to receive a community college education at minimal up-front cost, given employer tuition benefits.

“Partnering with Ascendium and RAND Corporation will provide Ivy Tech with critical information about Achieve Your Degree and the impact of the program on our students at our 19 campuses across the state,” said Molly Dodge, Senior Vice Presidents of Workforce and Careers at Ivy Tech. “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. 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.”

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.

Project insights will be distributed to various stakeholders throughout the course of the project. Stakeholders interested in learning more about the program and its supports for low-income working adult learners in partnership with employers can visit the Achieve Your Degree webpage on the Ivy Tech website.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.