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Ivy Tech CC Expands Coaching Program to Improve Retention

A 32-campus community college system is expanding a student success coaching program to encompass a broader range of students. Ivy Tech Community College, which has been working with InsideTrack, will now deliver coaching to all first-time African American students to help them in their transition to college.

InsideTrack is designed to use a combination of coaching, analytics, consulting and technology to help students balance their academic work with all of the other responsibilities in their lives — personal and professional. The average age of students at Ivy Tech is 28. As part of the coaching process, students get one-on-one meetings and have email and text communication with professional InsideTrack coaches; they also can access self-service content on the company's web and mobile platform.

The college system used InsideTrack beginning in June 2014 specifically to increase the retention levels of "21st Century Scholars" state scholarship recipients.

"Educational equity is about more than access," said Rachel Boon, assistant vice president for student success at Ivy Tech, in a prepared statement. "It's about leveraging evidence-based approaches to ensure that all students succeed, regardless of their background. Expanding our partnership with InsideTrack is about scaling something that we know works, for our students and for us."

The college's chief financial officer, Chris Ruhl, added that the cost effective nature of the program was an important consideration. "Allocating scarce resources effectively is critical as a public open access institution," he said. "The data from our partnership with InsideTrack clearly show that we are investing our money wisely and achieving outcomes that are central to our mission."

The initial agreement was about $1.05 million to serve 1,500 students over the course of two academic years. The latest agreement will be $980,000 to serve 1,700 students.

Other institutions working with InsideTrack include Indiana State University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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