Despite national concerns about declining student transfer rates between community colleges and four-year institutions, the Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI Passport Program is seeing record-breaking success. 

Students transferring from Ivy Tech Community College to IUPUI are succeeding at higher rates than ever before, according to a recently-released report from the Analysis and Institutional Effectiveness and the Office of Center for Transfer and Adult Students (CTAS).

The in-depth Passport Program Report details several 2021-2022 academic year statistics about enrollment, demographics, credit hours transferred, GPAs, and retention rates for new IUPUI students, with a particular focus on those who transferred from Ivy Tech Indianapolis.

During the 2021-22 academic year, the retention rate of Ivy Tech transfer students was at a higher rate of 78% compared to 71% of all other non-Ivy Tech transfers.

For the last five years, IUPUI graduates who transferred from Ivy Tech Indianapolis were more likely to be employed full-time than non-Ivy Tech transfer students, at a rate of 66%. Over the same period, Ivy Tech transfer students averaged a $1,378.25 higher starting salary than non-Ivy Tech transfer students. 

"I am so excited about our plans to continue to scale our partnership in ways that ensure more students are successful both at our individual campuses and as they transfer between our respective campuses,” Lorenzo Esters, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Indianapolis, said. 

Approximately 57% of new IUPUI transfer students from Ivy Tech already obtained an associate degree when they enrolled in the Fall 2022 semester. This is up significantly  from 52% the previous fall term.

In addition to already having a degree under their belt, Ivy Tech Indianapolis graduates who transferred to IUPUI in Fall 2022 had an average of 45.6 transfer credit hours. This far exceeds transfer students from other schools, who brought an average of 30.5 hours. 

Incoming transfer students from Ivy Tech are also 95% more likely to enroll in a specific IUPUI school than 88% of new transfers from other schools. 

Photo Provided: IUPUI

Dr. Katie Adams, Ivy Tech Indianapolis Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services and Student Success, says that credentials and degrees are vital in our current job market. 

“We stress to students that it is important to complete their degree or credential prior to transferring. Life happens, and priorities get realigned to different timelines; degrees earned are accomplishments that cannot be taken away,” Dr. Adams said. 

Coming out of the Aspen Institute’s one-year Transfer Student Success and Equity Intensive, the partnership between Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI in the form of the Passport Program is stronger than ever. Although the transfer program has been holistically helping our Central Indiana students for more than 24 years, Kathy Johnson, IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, says the intensive workshop series allowed IUPUI and Ivy Tech to “deepen our partnership.”

"This initiative helped to both refresh and to further deepen our partnership, particularly during a time of profound change as we’ve emerged from the pandemic and welcomed new campus leaders at both institutions,” Johnson said.

“We see a path forward that incorporates more involvement and regular communication between teams,” Dr. Adams said. “Creating opportunity for student connection is a top priority of the work we are doing.”

As Ivy Tech Community College’s largest campus, Ivy Tech Indianapolis accounts for 17% of Ivy Tech’s overall degree attainment for the 2021-22 academic year. 

The Indianapolis campus of Ivy Tech is also the most diverse of the system’s 19 campuses. 

Last year, the proportion of Ivy Tech Indianapolis students of color was near twice that of students of color in all other Ivy Tech service areas at 37% compared to about 20% at all other campuses. Furthermore, the rate of students of color transferring from Ivy Tech Indianapolis to IUPUI was about the same, hovering around 38%.

As it pertains to other levels of measured diversity, there are more female students than male students in all Ivy Tech service areas, according to the program report. Plus, 45% of new first-time Ivy Tech transfer students are from underrepresented populations. 

“IUPUI welcomes the diversity of Ivy Tech’s students and provides support and a place to belong, so our students perform at a high level at IUPUI upon transfer,” Dr. Adams said. “The Passport Program provides a clear and local connection for students to remain here locally but have a direct pathway to a bachelor’s degree.”

As the Passport Program’s academic advisor and partnership coordinator, Catie Triplet echoes Dr. Adams' remarks. She says that Ivy Tech transfer students rely on balancing their personal and professional responsibilities while obtaining an education. This program helps them do that holistically.

“A lot of these students are adult students or international students who rely on school being affordable and efficient,” Triplet said. 

Nearly 12% of IUPUI’s student body are Ivy Tech transfer students. And as far as Dr. Adams, Johnson, and Triplet are concerned, providing a smooth transition between the two institutions will remain a priority for the two institutions.

“The number of transfer students that move back and forth between Ivy Tech’s Indianapolis campus and IUPUI is greater than in any other part of the state,” Johnson said. “The Passport Program is jointly supported by Ivy Tech and IUPUI, and it signifies our shared commitment to ensuring the success of our transfer students.”

About the Passport Program

As key partners in driving degree completion through transfer in Marion, Hendricks, and Boone Counties, Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI are deeply committed to the educational goals of all students. Students transferring across our institutions will experience coordinated, equitable, holistic, and developmentally appropriate support.

Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI staff assist students with everything from transferring credits to transferring financial aid. In addition, qualifying students can take degree-focused courses at both IUPUI and Ivy Tech at the same time. We also offer funding and fee-waiver opportunities for Passport students. You can learn more today at

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.