The Purdue University College of Agriculture and Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette, Ind., are partnering on a new program to help make higher education even more accessible to Indiana students.

The Pathway Program is a new educational offering that allows students to co-enroll at Ivy Tech and Purdue in preparation for an undergraduate degree in the College of Agriculture. Students in the program will take courses simultaneously at both institutions with the goal of eventually earning a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from Purdue.

“We are pleased to partner once again with Purdue to develop a seamless higher education system in Indiana,” said Thomas Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

Students will be able to apply to the program through a Web site that will be developed and announced in September. The program, which is only being offered through Ivy Tech in Lafayette, will begin this fall accepting students for fall 2010. The program is limited to those students who wish to study agriculture, but may eventually expand to other disciplines, said Purdue provost Randy Woodson.

Because of the program's co-enrollment nature, Pathway students will take agriculture courses at Purdue and be able to live on the Purdue campus. Students in the program will participate in activities to support their academic development and also have all the benefits of full-time students at both institutions. “We expect the Pathway Program to translate into higher retention and graduation rates at both institutions because of the added academic support and social networking opportunities," said Mary Ostrye, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Ivy Tech.

Students eligible for the Pathway Program must be Indiana residents, have a high school diploma or equivalent certificate and should not have earned more than 15 credit hours from another college or university. The students will pay the appropriate tuition and fees for each institution.

Once a student completes the program requirements and receives an associate degree in agriculture from Ivy Tech, they will be guaranteed admission into Purdue’s College of Agriculture. “It is anticipated in the future that we will see greater demand for jobs in the life sciences and agriculture-related fields and this program is a way to help provide even more successful, career-ready graduates for the industry,” said Dale Whittaker, associate dean and director of the Office of Academic Programs in Agriculture at Purdue.

The Purdue College of Agriculture has majors and minors in 11 academic departments that include agricultural and biological engineering, agricultural economics, agronomy, animal sciences, biochemistry, botany and plant pathology, entomology, food science, forestry and natural resources, horticulture and landscape architecture and youth development and agricultural education.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system with more than 130,000 students enrolled annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.  It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.  It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Source: Purdue University