The Indiana College Completion Council brings together 17 private and public colleges and universities from around the state. The group met for the first time in Indianapolis on Tuesday. It says it wants 60 percent of Hoosiers to earn two- or four-year degrees by 2025. The current level is only about 33 percent.
Indiana State University president Daniel Bradley says he does not think that goal is possible within the time-frame. He says one obstacle is that schools will have to go after a non-traditional population.
“You’re looking at increasing – dramatically – the percentage of low-income students and students that are in the bottom half of their high school class,” Bradley says.
Several of the council members say the roots of the issue lie not in higher ed, but in K-12 education and early childhood development. Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers heads up the group. She says one way to address the issue is to better prepare students for college.
“But having said that, we get students who come to college who aren’t completing and we think that responsibility is owned by our colleges and universities. And we have nearly a million adults who need more education as well,” Lubbers says.
Lubbers says she wants the council members to collectively set the goal of greater college completion and then individually figure out how each institution can contribute to that effort.