Higher Learning Commission Directs Tiffin University to Discontinue Offering Associate Degrees through Ivy Bridge College

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Amidst the change, Ivy Bridge College remains dedicated to ensuring students have the opportunity to pursue their education at another college or university that will continue in the tradition of student-first education and services.

Today, Tiffin University announced to students a directive from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that the school must discontinue offering associate degree programs through Ivy Bridge College as of October 20, 2013. Ivy Bridge College, a college within Tiffin University, has offered online associate degree programs to students across the U.S. since its creation in 2008. The HLC directive, which was issued on July 25, was unexpected by Tiffin University, and Ivy Bridge College is now intensely focused on ensuring that its students’ progress towards a degree won’t be interrupted by the decision despite the very short timeline.

The October 20 deadline comes in the middle of the semester. Students will still be able to complete their courses for the first fall term and the change will not affect their coursework, assignments, or ability to attend class and meet with their professors, tutors, and success coaches up to that point.

“Our number one priority is helping our students,” said Ivy Bridge College Dean, Kim Brooks. “As a student, this is a stressful situation to be in and we’re doing everything we can to make it easier. We have an amazing community here at Ivy Bridge and even though the students are trying to figure out their next step, they’ve also been incredibly supportive of the college and the staff. It’s going to be incredibly sad saying goodbye.”

To help students continue with their education, Ivy Bridge College will work with them to choose a path forward using the following options:

1. Students will be able to continue their associate degree program online or in person at an HLC-approved institution that will accept Ivy Bridge College students for transfer.

2. If students meet the bachelor’s degree admission requirements at Tiffin University, they may transfer to Tiffin’s bachelor’s degree program and take courses, either online or seated, to complete their degree.

3. If students qualify, they may transfer early to a select list of Ivy Bridge College transfer partner institutions who have agreed to offer Ivy Bridge students impacted by the change the option to transfer early.

4. Students may transfer to any college or university to which they apply and are accepted.

The Ivy Bridge College staff is available to help and guide students as they weigh their choices and begin the process for transfer. Students who have immediate questions regarding the change may call or email a special line that has been setup to provide additional support during the transition. The college will also continue to update students about new opportunities and resources for transfer as they arise.

In 2010, the HLC board approved continuing accreditation for Tiffin University and Ivy Bridge College through 2020. Since then, the HLC has made changes to select policies and procedures, and on July 25, the HLC notified Tiffin University that the business structure of Ivy Bridge College did not align with their changes in policy and issued the October 20 deadline for disengagement.

In order to focus on supporting students, Ivy Bridge College and Tiffin University will not be answering media questions about the separation. Ivy Bridge College will continue to share more about students’ options and the HLC decision as they gain more information. Press who would like to be contacted with updates can send their requests to Rachel Steed at rachel.steed(at)altiused(dot)com or 415-655-8311.

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Megan Murray
Ivy Bridge College
since: 04/2010
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Ivy Bridge College of Tiffin University

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