Ivy Tech Wins CATYC Innovation Award

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Amanda Caple Melton, NROC Staff
July 12, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN—Ivy Tech Community College, the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, was awarded the inaugural Council on Accreditation for Two-Year Colleges' (CATYC) Innovation Award for the Knowledge Assessment Initiative the system implemented last year.

Earlier this year, Ivy Tech's rapidly scaled multiple measures program was also the subject of a Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Research brief entitled Implementing and Scaling Multiple Measures Assessment in the Context of COVID-19. “Our team is very honored to be recognized for its work to increase student access and success. Our multiple measures initiative is an important part of that effort," stated Gwenn Eldridge, Ivy Tech Assistant Vice President of Academic Transitions.

Central to Ivy Tech's work is EdReady, an adaptive learning platform that leverages a low-stakes knowledge inventory to personalize a learner’s path to college math and English readiness. Students are allowed to utilize EdReady in a non-proctored, self-paced environment, and they're provided various opportunities to engage with the technology (it's not a one-and-done affair). To date, greater than 45,000 Ivy Tech students have used EdReady to support their academic trajectories and, after just four months of use, ~50% of students were placing into credit-bearing courses aligned with their programs of study.

Community colleges have long provided critical pathways to higher education, but the promise of acceptance does not equate to equal access to college courses. Traditional high-stakes placement tests, historically used by approximately 95% of community colleges across the nation, disproportionally place underserved student populations into developmental education. EdReady allows for the student to study and self-remediate to increase placement or see the need for a developmental education course in areas of greater struggle. This experience—as opposed to a single-shot, multiple-choice test—gives all students the power to determine their starting place in college.

Jessica Huffman, Ivy Tech Professor (former)

Ivy Tech Community College results demonstrate that the system's holistic alternative to placement is strengthening student achievement, and efficacy continues to be tracked across demographic groups to better understand and refine the effort.

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