SIGNIFICANT SHIFTS IN INDIANA POLICY PRIORITIES
>OVER TIME INCREASE STATE RESIDENTS' ABILITY TO ACCESS AND SUCCEED IN COLLEGE
>Study Reveals How Policymakers, Education
>Officials, Interest Group Leaders Adopted
>Bipartisan Policies to Improve Postsecondary
>Opportunities for Hoosier Students
>Washington, D.C., September 17, 2008 When it
>comes to improving access and success in higher
>education to the benefit of the whole state,
>Indiana is at the nation's forefront. This
>achievement can be credited to bipartisan
>efforts by key decision makers-policymakers,
>business leaders, and education officials-who
>continue to address some of the state's major
>educational issues through a process of
>evolutionary change that gave a seat at the
>table to all interested parties. Due in large
>part to those efforts, more than two-thirds (68
>percent) of Hoosier high school students
>completed a college preparatory curriculum in
>2006, compared with only 12 percent in 1994, and
>more than 65,000 additional students have
>enrolled in college in the state since 2001.
>According to a new report by the Institute for
>Higher Education Policy (IHEP), Indiana has made
>considerable progress in increasing college
>access over the last several decades. The study,
>Creating Change One Step at a Time: Efforts to
>Improve College Access and Success in Indiana,
>offers a glimpse at the interventions Indiana
>has undertaken in the areas of academic
>preparation, higher education affordability, and
>a diversified system of higher education.
>EXAMPLES OF INDIANA'S INITIATIVES IN CREATING A COLLEGE-GOING CULTURE
> * The Core 40 diploma-which requires
> students to take four years of English, three
> years of math through at least Algebra II, and
> three years of science-was created to improve
> academic preparation for high school graduates
> and is now required for nearly all students.
> * As a part of a commitment to provide
> need-based grant aid, Indiana awards
> approximately 86 percent of all undergraduate
> student aid based on financial need alone
> (rather than on academic merit or a combination
> of need and merit), compared with a national average of 49 percent.
> * The establishment of a statewide community
> college system, Ivy Tech Community College of
> Indiana, offers more affordable postsecondary
> options, especially for working adults and for
> underserved groups such as low-income and minority students.
>"By focusing its efforts on a clear policy
>goal-increasing college access and
>success-Indiana has been able to achieve a
>series of significant postsecondary policy
>changes that we hope will lead to a myriad of
>successful outcomes," said IHEP President
>Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. "We applaud the
>state and its efforts to aggressively push
>through bureaucratic policy mazes to embrace
>bipartisan amendments resulting in the creation
>of a college-going culture among Hoosier residents."
>INDIANA'S KEY STEPS IN CREATING CHANGE The
>report highlights several key practices that
>have enabled Indiana to create substantial
>changes in the educational policy arena. These include:
> * Recognizing the need for change and
> expressing that need to all stakeholders.
> * Moving forward incrementally without
> letting initial setbacks stop the process of change.
> * Using data to inform policy decisions. The
> work of experts inside and outside the state
> can provide a range of options to address identified problems.
> * Connecting to national organizations
> working in the same areas. These connections
> offer support in developing new policies and
> links to other states that may have similar concerns or experiences.
> * Seeking financial support for new policy
> initiatives from nonprofit organizations,
> foundations, and the federal government.
> * Building public support through
> transparency and aggressive communication efforts.
> * Making sure all stakeholders have a seat
> at the table so problems and policy solutions
> can be thoroughly discussed before implementation.
> * Cultivating strong, sustained, and
> bipartisan state leadership. A few key
> individuals can make or break policy initiatives.
>Despite its progress in creating change and
>building a college-going culture, the report
>notes that Indiana still has to address a number
>of specific concerns, such as increasing
>postsecondary completion rates and doing more to
>assist low-income, minority, and adult students.
>The state also faces a number of ongoing
>challenges, including finding funding for
>need-based aid and other programs in the face of
>budget pressures as well as sustaining momentum
>for change through the election cycle and into
>the future. Nonetheless, the study points out
>that the factors helping Indiana be successful
>in promoting policy change thus far are likely
>to persist, and the state will continue to create change one step at a time.
>The full report,Creating Change One Step at a
>Time: Efforts to Improve College Access and
>Success in Indian, is available for download on
>IHEP's Web site at www.ihep.org.
Labels: academic preparation, College Success