February 23, 2022

Purdue University Global, Ivy Tech Community College to exchange and accept credits for students' prior learning

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University Global and Ivy Tech Community College are taking action to better position students for long-term academic success and eliminate barriers to transfer. Beginning March 1, the schools will exchange and accept credits for prior learning that appear on an official college transcript issued by the partner institution.

Historically, college and university students have faced challenges moving their credits and courses from one institution to another. Key obstacles, including the perceived transferability of completed courses and the recognition of experiential and nontraditional learning, remain stumbling blocks for students looking to achieve their academic goals.

“We are thrilled to eliminate one more barrier for transfer students looking to make progress on their academic journey,” Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley said. “Through this arrangement, we hope to advance the conversation about recognizing and validating student learning.”

Typically, nontraditional credits earned through prior learning assessment (PLA) are stranded at the institution that awards them. The stakes are high for students; when a student is prevented from transferring earned credits between institutions, it results in retaken courses, increased cost, and delayed career and professional outcomes.

“Ivy Tech is delighted to partner to address this long-standing problem and create a framework that we welcome other institutions to join as well,” Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann said. “This agreement will help us ensure our students receive the transfer credit they deserve for the competencies they have gained in the workplace, ensuring both a cost-effective and efficient path to their degree.”

Some students are cautious about gaining credit through PLA because they know it may not help them achieve their long-term academic goals, particularly if those goals include transferring from a community college to a university. The hope is that by signaling to students that their nontraditional credits can transfer, more students will consider the option to pursue these credits in the first place. Ivy Tech and Purdue Global will work to continue statewide conversations in Indiana about how to improve access to credit for prior learning opportunities. Both institutions are hopeful that other colleges and universities will be interested in participating in a similar agreement.

Work to improve credit for prior learning opportunities and access is supported by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

“Purdue Global and Ivy Tech have both been leaders in providing credit for prior learning, and this new transfer arrangement extends their innovative work even further and capitalizes on the trust built between the two institutions, leading to better outcomes for students,” said Ken Sauer, senior associate commissioner and chief academic officer.

To enable this revolutionary practice, the registrars of both institutions collaborated to determine the information necessary to validate and transfer a student’s credit for prior learning. Through much dialogue and coordination, these two institutions will work together to ensure that students are getting credit for what they know.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, enabling them to develop essential academic and professional skills with the support and flexibility they need to achieve their career goals. It offers personalized paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest Indiana, as well as serving science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, visit purdueglobal.edu.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degree and short-term certificate programs, and training that align to the needs of the community. The college also offers courses and associate degree programs that seamlessly transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree.

Media Contact, Purdue Global: Tom Schott, tschott@purdue.edu

Media Contact, Ivy Tech: Mary Jane Michalak, mmichalak@ivytech.edu

Sources: Frank Dooley

Sue Ellspermann

Ken Sauer


Note to Journalists: Purdue University Global and Ivy Tech Community College logos are available on Google Drive.

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