September 14, 2018

Marian University to open two-year college in the fall of 2019

Special to The Criterion

Marian University in Indianapolis will open a two-year college near its campus in the fall of 2019, university officials announced on Sept. 5.

Marian’s president Daniel Elsener said the new college fits the university’s efforts to meet the needs of diverse student populations.

“The Lumina Foundation’s goal of increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025 will not be achieved if higher education maintains the status quo,” Elsener said. “We require revolutionary responses that address the populations of students who aren’t going to college or aren’t finishing.”

The new two-year college, which is yet to be named, has set a goal of enrolling 75-125 students in the first year. Students will have an option of pursuing one of three associate’s degrees—in liberal arts, information technology or business. The college will be fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and credits earned will be transferrable to other HLC accredited institutions, including Marian University.

“We are confident that we’ve landed on three focused areas of study that are relevant to employers, are true to our liberal arts foundation, and are easily transferable for students who may want to later pursue a four-year degree,” Elsener said. “We will always have the option of adding more degrees as our economy and the needs of employers shift.”

Elsener said that the personal attention and one-on-one mentoring for which Marian University is renowned will be the hallmark of the new two-year college.

“Marian University has always been committed to creating a strong sense of community between our students and their professors,” Elsener said. “Students who are looking for an innovative approach to learning and possess the grit and determination needed to succeed will be attracted to our two-year college.”

One feature of the two-year college is the employer partnerships that are being established to help students make connections between learning and earning. Marian faculty will work closely with specific central Indiana employers to ensure that students of the two-year college will be able to recognize connections in what they are learning in the classroom and their future jobs.

Flexible class schedules will be established, allowing students to work, if they choose. “Our students will earn while they learn,” Elsener said.

The exact cost of tuition will be set later this fall, but students will be eligible to apply for state and federal funding that will, in many cases, cover more than 90 percent of their tuition, Elsener noted. Students will be able to use the wages earned from their jobs and internships to cover the remainder of tuition.

For at least the first year, Marian’s two‑year college will be located at a property owned by the university on West 30th Street, less than a mile west of the main campus.

Marlene Dotson, president and CEO of the Indiana Latino Institute, joined Elsener at a press conference on Sept. 5 to offer support for the two-year college.

“Advancing education for the Latino community is a big part of Indiana Latino Institute’s mission,” Dotson said. “There are many Latinos in central Indiana who choose to pursue an associate’s degree after high school. Marian’s two‑year college will increase access to higher education and will prove to be an attractive option for many Latinos.”

Applications are being accepted now for fall 2019 enrollment at marian.edu/twoyearcollege. †

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