Two Indiana colleges are teaming up on an effort to recruit more teachers, by making a teaching degree more affordable.
The new partnership between Ivy Tech and Marian University will allow students to take their first two years of base-level classes at lower-cost Ivy Tech, then complete their degree at Marian. They’ll then be able to get their required master’s degree from Marian at no additional charge.
Secretary of Education Katie Jenner says just one in six students who pursue a teaching degree end up in an Indiana classroom, while more than half don’t finish their degree at all. She says making affordability less of a barrier is one step toward shoring up Indiana’s pipeline of new teachers.
Ivy Tech and Marian say the partnership should reduce the total cost of a teaching degree, including a master’s, to 45-thousand dollars. With Ivy Tech’s existing dual-credit program allowing students to earn their first year of college credit while still in high school, that figure could be reduced another 10-percent.
Jenner says the college completion rate is higher among students who transfer from a two-year to a four-year college. Ivy Tech president Sue Ellspermann suggests those graduates are often students who have demonstrated their determination by balancing full-time jobs with their pursuit of a degree.
Ellspermann and Marian president Daniel Elsener say the two schools have worked together to align their curricula to create a seamless pathway from one school to the other.
In particular, the schools hope to increase the number of minority teachers in Indiana. Jenner says the program will create an avenue for teachers to encourage students to consider teaching as a career.