The Purdue University College of Agriculture and Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette are partnering on a new program to help make higher education even more accessible to Indiana students.
The Pathway Program, announced Thursday (Aug. 13) during the Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees meeting, is an educational offering that allows students to co-enroll at Ivy Tech and Purdue in preparation for an undergraduate degree in the College of Agriculture. Students in the program will take courses simultaneously at both institutions with the goal of eventually earning a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Purdue.
"We are pleased to partner once again with Purdue to develop a seamless higher education system in Indiana," said Thomas Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. "Our state is becoming a model across the country when it comes to partnerships and efficiencies in higher education."
Randy Woodson, Purdue's executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, said the program builds on Purdue's role as a leading land-grant university with a rich tradition of agricultural education.
"This partnership with Ivy Tech will ensure Hoosiers have access to a world-class educational experience and will improve the odds of success for students that might need additional preparation prior to their enrollment in the College of Agriculture at Purdue," he said.
Students will be able to apply to the program through a Web site that will be developed and announced in September. The program, which is only being offered through Ivy Tech in Lafayette, this fall will begin accepting students for fall 2010. The program is limited to those students who wish to study agriculture, but may eventually expand to other disciplines, Woodson said.
Because of the program's co-enrollment nature, Pathway students will take agriculture courses at Purdue and be able to live on the Purdue campus. Unlike a transfer program, Pathway students will benefit from the ability to take Purdue Agriculture courses with other Purdue students in their major.
Students in the program will participate in activities to support their academic development and also have all the benefits of full-time students at both institutions. On the Purdue campus that includes access to libraries, the recreational sports facility, student organizations and athletic events.
"We expect the Pathway Program to translate into higher retention and graduation rates at both institutions because of the added academic support and social networking opportunities," said Mary Ostrye, Ivy Tech's vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Students eligible for the Pathway Program must be Indiana residents, have a high school diploma or equivalent certificate, and should not have earned more than 15 credit hours from another college or university. The students will pay the appropriate tuition and fees for each institution.
Once a student completes the program requirements and receives an associate degree in agriculture from Ivy Tech, they will be guaranteed admission into Purdue's College of Agriculture.
"It is anticipated in the future that we will see greater demand for jobs in the life sciences and agriculture-related fields, and this program is a way to help provide even more successful, career-ready graduates for the industry," said Dale Whittaker, associate dean and director of the Office of Academic Programs in Agriculture at Purdue.
The Purdue College of Agriculture has majors and minors in 11 academic departments that include agricultural and biological engineering, agricultural economics, agronomy, animal sciences, biochemistry, botany and plant pathology, entomology, food science, forestry and natural resources, horticulture and landscape architecture, and youth development and agricultural education.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, with more than 130,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of work force development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
Brett Fuller is the Managing Editor and Operations Manager for the LIFE network and specializes in social media engagement and content development. Visit Brett on Google Plus, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.