Ivy Tech and IUPUI Extend Improvement in Retention Rates of First-Generation Low-Income Students, Up Thirteen Percentage Points in Three Years

Student coaching partnership with InsideTrack among keys to third straight year of improved persistence among Indiana 21st Century Scholars

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (OCTOBER 18, 2017) — Ivy Tech Community College, the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, and Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), the state’s premier urban public research university, today announced the latest results of their multi-year initiative to improve persistence rates among first-generation, low-income students. In partnership with student success company InsideTrack, both Ivy Tech and IUPUI increased the retention rates of first-year 21st Century Scholar students by approximately 13 percentage points over the last 3 years, with improved results each year.

Now entering its fourth year, the coaching program continues to show impressive results. At Ivy Tech, where all 21st Century Scholars were coached, fall-to-fall retention has increased to 49.6 percent, from a historic average of 36.9 percent, a 34 percent improvement. IUPUI’s coaching program focused on the most “at risk” 21st Century Scholars and saw a similar increase, from a historic retention rate of 50 percent to 63 percent this fall, a 26 percent gain.  

Through structured meetings and ongoing digital communication via voice, email, text messaging and interactive content, InsideTrack’s coaches help Ivy Tech and IUPUI students define their long-term goals and establish plans to graduate prepared for career success. Coaches also support students in developing the crucial noncognitive skills needed to overcome obstacles and persist, including time management, critical thinking, and communication, as well as developing a mindset of personal accountability. In addition, institutional administrators and staff are using insights gained through the coaching process and InsideTrack’s uCoach® technology platform to support a range of operational improvement initiatives.

“Effectively supporting our increasingly diverse student population is central to our institutional mission,” said Cathy Buyarski, executive director of student success initiatives at IUPUI. “We’re proud of the substantial progress we’ve made over the last several years in partnership with InsideTrack and look forward to continuing to enhance the student experience and student outcomes even more in the years to come.”

Ivy Tech and IUPUI originally partnered with InsideTrack to develop the 21st Century Scholars Coaching Program in 2014, through an initiative coordinated by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, with support from Strada Education Network (formerly, USA Funds). The program focused on students in Indiana’s 21st Century Scholar program, a state-funded, need-based scholarship that provides up to four years of full tuition to qualifying first-generation and low-income students. Both institutions have since expanded their relationships with InsideTrack to include coaching for additional student populations and a variety of training and institutional capacity building services.

“Ivy Tech is committed to expanding opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of their socio-economic background,” said Cory Clasemann-Ryan, assistant vice president of student success at Ivy Tech Community College. “Our partnership with InsideTrack is an important component to our ongoing efforts to provide students with the support they need to reach their full potential. The results speak for themselves as we continue to work toward closing the achievement gap and enabling all of our students to reach even greater heights.”

Since 2001, InsideTrack has provided high-quality coaching to more than 1.5 million prospects, students, and alumni across more than 1,600 academic programs nationwide, with a strong track record of improving outcomes and performance. Their adaptive coaching methodology, highly-skilled coaches, and robust uCoach technology and analytics platform are proven to increase student success and generate valuable insights that assist institutional leaders in making more data-driven decisions.

“Ivy Tech and IUPUI have been steadfast in their commitment to institutional improvement and pulling out all of the stops to help their students succeed,” said Jessica Hector, associate vice president of client partnerships at InsideTrack. “As an organization dedicated to unlocking human potential and supporting all students in graduating prepared for choice-filled lives, we are honored to be working alongside such compassionate and capable partners.”


About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.


As Indiana’s premier urban public research university, IUPUI believes in the power of transformation. We are committed to providing educational opportunities that transform the lives of our students, our community, and the changing world around us. It was this commitment that was behind the merger of the Indianapolis campuses and programs of Indiana University and Purdue University—some of which are more than 100 years old—that won accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission in 1969, creating IUPUI. And it’s what binds us together today. We’re now Indiana’s premier urban research university offering more than 350 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs from Indiana University and Purdue University.

About InsideTrack

InsideTrack is passionate about student success. Since 2001, we have been dedicated to partnering with colleges and universities to create adaptive coaching solutions that generate measurable results. These solutions combine professional coaching, technology, and data analytics to increase enrollment, completion, and career readiness. Our adaptive coaching methodology is based on the latest behavioral science research and knowledge gained from working with more than 1.5 million students and 1,600 programs. In combination with our uCoach® Platform, our approach optimizes student engagement and generates valuable insights on the student experience through predictive modeling, behavioral analysis, and multichannel communication. InsideTrack is a member of the nonprofit Strada Education Network. Join us and the leading institutions, foundations, and others working to bring the transformative power of education to all individuals. Visit us at www.insidetrack.com and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack.

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