Hoosier Link connecting Ivy Tech, IU is expanding

The Herald-Times

Program allows students to live at IU, attend Ivy Tech , then transfer

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 | mslaby@heraldt.com

It could be struggling with math. Or difficulty taking exams like the SAT and ACT. Or a year of poor grades because of a rough patch.

Whatever it is, students in the Hoosier Link program have an average GPA between 3.3 and 3.4, but just missed admission to Indiana University, said Emily Arth, coordinator of the program.

Hoosier Link — an opportunity for students to attend Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington while living at IU and then transfer — is a popular one.

So while other Ivy Tech sites are starting an honors program, that won’t come to Bloomington, campus officials said. However, there are 41 more spots in Hoosier Link for 2014-15, expanding the program by almost 40 percent.

American Honors began at Ivy Tech in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Lafayette about a year ago and has expanded to South Bend and East Chicago, said Kelly Hauflaire, Ivy Tech’s executive director of marketing and media relations.

The honors program prepares students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities after earning an Ivy Tech associate degree.

Hoosier Link started in 2006 for Indiana high school graduates to meet needed requirements at Ivy Tech Bloomington and then transfer to IU. An average of 80 percent of Hoosier Link students are eligible to transfer and 74 percent do, according to data from Ivy Tech.

“The difference between Hoosier Link students and other transfer students is that they are living in the residence halls with only IU students,” Arth said. She said the Hoosier Link students can join IU organizations and go to campus events.

Students have the dorm experience at IU, but also have the Ivy Tech smaller class size, tutors and mentors they need to get their foot in the door, said Jennie Vaughan, chancellor at Ivy Tech Bloomington.

“They’re almost there,” she said.

Started with 94 students in 2006, the program has always had 108 or fewer students. For the 2013-14 school year, there were 103 students, but for 2014-15, there will be 144.

“It was much more competitive; we were going to have to deny students we would have never denied in the past,” said Arth, who is also associate director of the Office of First Year Experience Programs at IU.

Program size is based on the number of beds available to it, so Arth said when IU projected it might have more space for next year, Hoosier Link asked to expand. The program doesn’t advertise because of its small size, so students are typically referred by high school guidance counselors and IU admissions staff, she said.

To transfer after first semester, students need 15 transferable academic credit hours, a 3.0 GPA with no grade lower than a C and no discipline referrals on either campus, and must pass a class called transfer success seminar .

Most transfer then, Arth said, but for those who transfer later, the credit hours change to 26 hours and the GPA to a 2.5. The seminar class helps students prepare to transfer to IU as well as exposes them to various IU buildings and resources on both campuses, Arth said.

She said these students know it is a stepping stone, and the students have to be mature enough to leave the residence hall to go to Ivy Tech for class on time, instead of walking to class 10 minutes before, Arth said.

Hoosier Link helps them work on what they need to get into IU.

“These are the students who their whole life they wanted to go to IU,” Arth said. “IU is their dream school.”

 

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