Indiana University will continue to enhance its commitment to student success, while earning a degree and afterwards, by adopting innovations and realignments in schools, programs, and course delivery; by assuring systematic review of existing programs; and by ensuring that IU’s high quality education remains affordable.
Priority One: Student Success
Priority One action items
1. Indiana University will ensure an affordable education, through:
- Keeping IU tuition and fees as low as possible in relation to its peer institutions;
- Increasing undergraduate scholarships that reduce net tuition and fees;
- Providing competitive graduate student financial support;
- Maintaining a multifaceted program of incenting and supporting students in graduating on time; and
- Providing comprehensive programming and advising for students regarding financial aid and debt management.
$100MDrop in borrowing by all IU student from 2012–16
Indiana University maintains its commitment to an affordable education. In 2017 the Board of Trustees approved modest tuition increases of 1.4 percent for each of the two following academic years, in line with the (nonbinding) recommendations of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Tuition and fees will rise by just 1.9 percent each of the next two academic years at the regional campuses.
Over the past five years, the financial aid offered by IU has increased by $77.9 million, or 16 percent. More than 64 percent of IU Bloomington’s financial aid goes to students who are Indiana residents.
IU’s MoneySmarts program, introduced in 2012, an initiative designed to help students understand the impact of student loan borrowing and repayment schedules, has been recognized as a Model of Excellence by University Business magazine. Today, the MoneySmarts program includes information provided to students and parents at orientation; individual and group presentations on finances; four one-credit-hour courses; engaging podcasts; and other resources to help students make wise financial decisions. As a result, borrowing by all IU students dropped nearly $100 million from FY 2012 to FY 2016, and borrowing by Indiana resident undergraduate students dropped by $63.7 million during that same time period.
MoneySmarts has been recognized as a model of excellence by University Business magazine.
2. IU will continue to seek out and support undergraduate and graduate students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, including first-generation college students, veterans, students from underrepresented minorities, returning students, and part-time students.
IU continues to develop policies that will seek out and support a diverse population of students.
- IU is committed to being a transfer-friendly university; that is, we will make it possible for students who seek to transfer into IU, or to move credit from courses taken at one IU campus to a degree program at a different IU campus, to achieve their goals in a timely and efficient way without needing to compile extra credit. IU’s University Transfer Office worked with partner institutions across the state to increase the number of Transfer Statewide Articulation Pathways (TSAPs), which facilitate transfer between institutions, and IU has adopted a policy so that all new undergraduate degree proposals are designed with appropriate and transparent rules regarding transfer credit.
- In 2017, more than 500 students in the 21st Century Scholars program graduated from IU Bloomington, the largest graduating class since the program’s founding in 1990. This is the largest need-based scholarship program in the state of Indiana. During the 2016–17 academic year, 812 scholars from the Bicentennial Class of 2020 enrolled at IU Bloomington.
- The Hudson & Holland Scholars Program, IU’s largest merit-based scholarship and support program, enrolled 1,525 students during the 2016–17 academic year. Despite the program’s size, it has a 98 percent retention rate from a participant’s first to second semester, a 93 percent retention rate from first to second years, and a 72 percent graduation rate.
- In 2016–17, IU’s population of underrepresented minority students reached 23 percent, a higher percentage than Indiana’s population of underrepresented minority residents.
3. IU will adopt and support practices, policies, and information systems that support and encourage both graduate and undergraduate students to complete degrees on time or as promptly as their individual circumstances allow. Pervasive academic and career advising will become a hallmark of an IU education, focusing particularly on first-generation and so-called nontraditional students.
IU’s Office of Completion and Student Success (OCSS) has developed a guide that sets out in a convenient format the steps that a campus can take to improve retention and completion, and the respective roles of the university and campuses in achieving that shared goal. It is intended primarily as a resource for faculty and campus academic leaders, and it briefly describes specific actions, organized into several domains of a student’s experience, that have been demonstrated to contribute to students’ success in baccalaureate degree programs. The guide also describes how university offices, principally OCSS and other offices within University Academic Affairs, can support the campuses, and the aspects that are undertaken by the campuses. Here, too, the objective of the guide is to facilitate the actions that lead to greater student retention and completion.
Specifically, OCSS and IU have adopted best practices for an inquiry-based approach to academic and career advising. Advisors are charged with becoming and remaining curious about their individual students, and encouraged to embrace a mindset of inquiry about all aspects of their work—their students, their academic programs, policies, procedures, student support options, outreach opportunities, etc.—and use what they learn to help others.
One of the primary initiatives is the development of a plan for serving first-generation students, especially those from under-resourced backgrounds and who may lack familiarity with what has come to be known as the “hidden curriculum”—the unstated norms that students who come from backgrounds that involve many college graduates may simply take for granted. The university must ensure that it does not make assumptions about everyone being familiar with these norms. IU is developing communication materials specifically aimed at first-generation students (and in all communication materials, ensuring there is no presumption of knowledge incoming students may not have). These materials will actively connect first-generation students and their families to IU’s most helpful programs and support services, develop strategies to improve retention and graduation rates of first-generation students, and connect first-generation students with faculty, staff, and administrators who were themselves first-generation students.
4. IU will leverage its scale and scope to seek enrichment and efficiencies in the delivery of academic programs (as in other aspects of university operations), especially in regard to the development of fully online and hybrid courses. A key component of this priority will be the completion of the implementation of the Unizin shared repository for digital course materials.
As of fall 2017, Indiana University had a record 5,066 students enrolled in 116 online degrees and more than 2,000 online courses, representing a 4% increase over 2016. 29,000 IU students—nearly a third of the total student body—are enrolled in at least one online course; these courses account for more than one-tenth of all credit hours across the university.
Through its Office of Collaborative Academic Programs, IU has been active in developing fully online degrees. The curriculum for these degrees is developed by the relevant faculty from each participating campus, and subject to all the academic approval processes and oversight of our more traditional on-campus programs.
Currently in the implementation phase are three degrees offered through IU’s Regional Campuses:
- B.S. in Informatics
- B.S. in Applied Health Science
- Bachelor of Applied Science
And, at IUPUI:
- B.S. in Medical Imaging Technology
Other collaborative programs now in the campus approval process, and fast-tracked for approval and implementation, are:
- B.S. in Business Administration
- B.A. in History
- Master of Liberal Studies
- M.S. in Criminal Justice and Public Safety
- M.A. in English
- Graduate Certificates in Mathematics, and in English Literature
In the planning phase are:
- Bachelor of Social Work
- B.S. in Sociology
- B.A. in Sustainability
- M.S. in Education Technology
- Master of Arts in Teaching in Mathematics
- Graduate Certificates in History, Political Science, Biology, and Chemistry
As part of Unizin, IU continues to leverage the consortium’s pricing and adoption of Instructure’s Canvas to provide a top-notch learning management system (LMS) platform for IU classes. The university partners with the consortium’s resources to research student enrollment behavior in the LMS. IU continues to offer significant savings to students through its implementation of IU eTexts, which is built on Unizin’s Engage product, and IU is currently piloting Unizin’s Pressbooks platform for the publishing of eTexts or open educational resources.
5. IU will continue to pursue new graduate and undergraduate academic programs, and realignment of existing programs, in order to leverage its strengths, assure relevance, and respond to student demand and to regional, state, and national needs.
On all campuses new degrees have been introduced, with the approval of the Indiana Commission on Higher Education, to leverage IU’s strengths and provide relevant new degrees. Some highlights include:
- At IU Bloomington, the M.S. degree in Cybersecurity Risk Management recognizes the changing needs of students and allows them to be trained using a robust array of interprofessional course offerings and practical opportunities from Secure Computing, Business, and Law that will help them assume leadership positions in the private and public sectors. The degree provides students with the knowledge they need about technical cybersecurity and global cybersecurity governance trends.
- The IU Fairbanks School of Public Health (FSPH) at IUPUI introduced a Master of Science in Product Stewardship. Product stewardship is an emerging and evolving profession which addresses local, national, and global issues relating to the environment, worker health and safety, and social accountability as they relate to the design, use, and disposal of everyday products.
- IU Bloomington created new graduate degrees—an M.S. and a Ph.D.—in Cell, Molecular, and Cancer Biology. Over the past six years, Medical Sciences has expanded its research faculty and has now established an area of excellence in biomedical science with a strong focus in cancer biology.
- A new Ph.D. in Data Science was created at IUPUI with a curriculum of residential and hybrid courses that is part of a larger program initiative in Data Science in the School of Informatics and Computing (SOIC) at both the IUPUI and Bloomington campuses. The curriculum enjoys synergies with degree programs at IU Bloomington, which has a highly successful Master of Science and Ph.D. minor in Data Science, with online course offerings available to students on both campuses. The Ph.D. at IUPUI uniquely targets working professionals in the greater Indianapolis area as potential students.
- IU East introduced an Executive Master of Public Administration program, to serve a great need in its service region. The degree is aimed at early to mid-career practitioners, managers, and leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors, including those serving in law enforcement, probation, parole, social services, healthcare, higher education, community development, and nonprofit agencies. The degree is delivered through a combination of intensive on-campus weekend residencies with selected online courses, enabling even those students working full time to complete the degree in 18 months.
- In an innovative collaboration, IU East, IU Kokomo, and IU Southeast introduced a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, a degree required for licensure for mental health counselors in the state of Indiana. The curriculum involves students taking half of their required courses at one of the three campuses collaborating in the degree, while the other half of the courses are taken online through classes offered jointly across all three campuses. This hybrid structure enables students to have on-campus instruction where pedagogically required, but also enables campuses to pool their resources where online instruction is a valid, quality means of course delivery.
6. IU will work systematically with deans to improve the overall quality, learning outcomes, and standing in reputable rankings of their schools and degree programs, including strengthening processes for regular academic review of their units.
IU takes pride in its nationally ranked programs across the curriculum. Highlights of recently published rankings include:
- U.S. News & World Report places the IU Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) Master of Public Affairs program as the #1 ranked program in the country. Among concentrations within the M.P.A., three are ranked as #1: nonprofit management, environmental policy and management, and public finance and budgeting. Concentrations also highly ranked are public management administration (#3), public policy analysis (#7), health policy and management (#12), city management and urban policy (#14), and social policy (#14).
- The M.P.A. at SPEA’s IUPUI campus also presents very high rankings: #4 in nonprofit management, and #13 in environmental policy and management.
- The School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington is ranked 9th in U.S. News & World Report’s listing of top library and information studies graduate programs. Two of its specialties also were ranked; digital librarianship is 10th, and information systems is 11th.
- Four departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, also at IU Bloomington, are ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 20. IU’s program in sociology is ranked 15th, psychology is 17th, English and history are 20th. It also ranked IU’s program in political science 29th and its economics program 39th.
- The IU Kelley School of Business Master of Business Administration programs remain among elite schools of business. Its full-time program at IU Bloomington is ranked 21st overall, and its part-time Evening M.B.A. program at IUPUI is ranked 11th. Six of the Kelley School’s specialties were highlighted by peers, with entrepreneurship ranked 8th; and accounting, information systems, and marketing programs each ranked 11th; management, 16th; and finance, 25th.
- The IU School of Nursing is ranked 28th, and its Doctor of Nursing Practice degree ranks 23rd.
- The IU Maurer School of Law in Bloomington ranks 30th overall. Four specialties in the school were ranked. Tax law was 23rd; international and environmental law, 25th; and intellectual property law, 27th.
- The IU McKinney School of Law at IUPUI moved from 100th in 2016 to 88th this year. Its health law specialty is 12th, and its legal writing program is 15th. McKinney’s part-time program ranks 32nd.
- The IU School of Education ranks 32nd. The school had top rankings for six of its degree programs: 9th for higher education administration and curriculum/instruction; 10th for elementary education and secondary education; educational administration/supervision, 17th; and educational psychology, 18th.
- The IU School of Medicine is in the top 50 for both research and primary care. It now ranks 41st for primary care and 45th for research.
In the President’s State of the University address for 2017, a major initiative was announced: a university-wide review of all of IU’s programs that support teaching and learning. “Building on New Directions in Teaching and Learning, this review should examine what we are doing now, what is working well, what can be improved, what opportunities are there for leveraging and restructuring these programs to make them more effective and efficient, and what new resources, including space, might be needed. As well, it should look at what kinds of programs and spaces will be needed in the future, which will undoubtedly be even more dominated by pervasive information technology. The review committee should comprise FACET and other faculty members, staff of the centers for teaching and learning, staff from UITS, and students. The committee’s report should be submitted to the executive vice presidents no later than May 31, 2018, and after appropriate consultation, they will take appropriate actions in response by September 30, 2018.”