Featured Online College
About one-half of all college students in Indiana attend state-supported, four-year institutions, according to the state. The largest institution is Indiana University, the state’s public university system. There are more than 100,000 students enrolled across its campuses, which include the flagship in Bloomington, ranked among the top 100 national universities by U.S. News & World Report, and its urban campus at Purdue University Indianapolis. This campus is operated in cooperation with Purdue University, the flagship university of the five-campus Purdue University system, and which is also ranked among the top national universities by U.S. News. It is the second largest institution of higher education in the state, with nearly 75,000 students across its campuses.
The other state universities in Indiana are Indiana State, Ball State, and the University of Southern Indiana. The state is also home to many private colleges and universities, which are often affiliated with religious groups. For instance, the University of Notre Dame is a premier Roman Catholic school, ranked No. 17 among national universities by U.S. News. DePauw University, Earlham College, and Valparasio University are also affiliated with Protestant denominations. Indiana also boasts the nation’s largest state-side community college with single accreditation; Ivy Tech Community College serves nearly 200,000 students a year across 30 campuses.
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education oversees the state’s colleges and universities. It plans and coordinates the state’s postsecondary education system, ensuring that it is aligned to meet the needs of the students and state. Some of the commission’s major initiatives include creating a student-centered and workforce-aligned higher education system. Through its "Achieving More" plan, it aims to create efficient pathways and incentives for completion of degrees and certificates, promote productivity to safeguard affordability, and attain a standard of academic quality that ensures Indiana’s college credentials are universally recognized for their rigor and value.
Indiana Distance Learning Initiatives
Indiana ranks at No. 40 nationally in education attainment, and the state’s college completion rates have remained relatively flat over the past decade. By 2018, the state aims to increase on-time college graduation rates to at least 50% at four-year campuses and 25% at two-year campuses. By 2025, it aims to double the number of college degrees and certificates currently produced and increase higher education attainment to 60% of the state’s population. Online degree programs are one part of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s plan to achieve these goals by bringing costs down while keeping quality and convenience up. There are several schools with online degree programs that have had success in achieving this so far, from state university online degree programs to private institutions.
Hybrid online college degree programs that combine campus and online classes are another way the school can increase flexibility and cost savings for students. An institution like Western Governors University Indiana, which provides more than 50 online bachelor degree programs and online masters degree programs in high-demand careers like business, education, nursing, and information technology, is a great model for distance learning in the state. The state is deploying WGU’s approach — that of a competency-based model that caters to working adults — to allow students to earn online degree programs in Indiana at their own pace online in targeted bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Specially, the commission will champion state and institutional policies that increase opportunities for flexible and accelerated learning, including expanded use of online course delivery and scheduling options that allow students to earn an associate degree in one year and a bachelor’s degree in three years through online degree programs from major universities.