Indiana Tech Launches Tuition-Free Academy to Help Adult and Online Students Ramp Up for College Completion

New program will boost college readiness for adult and online students through online, competency-based education courses from StraighterLine

Indiana Tech‘s Office for Student Success announced today the launch of Indiana Tech Readiness Academy to help incoming adult and online students within the university’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) prepare for the college environment. The academy is a partnership with StraighterLine, the pioneering developer of online general education courses delivered through a low-cost monthly subscription.

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“Even before the pandemic, colleges were seeing surging interest from adult students—often with long gaps between their last experience with education—returning to start or complete a college degree,” said Nicole Scott, Ed.D., associate vice president of student success at Indiana Tech. “Our new Readiness Academy is designed to help adult and online students quickly get back up to speed on fundamental math and English language skills that are essential for college-level work, closing gaps in academic preparation while giving students the confidence to succeed in their degree pathway.”

Every year, over one million students start college underprepared for the rigor of college course-level work. Extensive research has demonstrated that offering support courses while students are enrolled in college-level studies can increase the likelihood of retention and graduation.

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Beginning immediately, the Indiana Tech Readiness Academy will provide self-paced introductory classes in English and College Algebra to all new CPS students who have  fewer than 30 transfer credits and have not tested out of the courses. Students will have 12 weeks to complete both courses at no cost to them. Because the courses are delivered in StraighterLine’s competency-based format, students can demonstrate skills and knowledge they may have gained through work or previous educational experiences and more quickly advance to the essential skills needed for college-level work.

“For so many incoming college students—particularly returning adults who are juggling work, family and personal responsibilities—it’s easy to start feeling behind from the first day of class,” said Burck Smith, StraighterLine’s founder and CEO. “Universities such as Indiana Tech are recognizing the important role that self-paced instruction and competency-based courses can play in helping students gain foundational academic skills and accelerating degree completion.”

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