Higher Ed Commissioner Pushes Internships In Annual Address

Feb 24, 2015

This year's speech is Lubbers' third State of Higher Education address.
Credit courtesy State of Indiana

Indiana’s higher education commissioner says the state needs to focus on a more meaningful hands-on learning style if it wants more Hoosiers to take a chance on college. 

Indiana’s goal is to have 60-percent of Hoosiers complete a college degree or certificate by the year 2025.  And the state has a way to go.  It’s listed among the bottom 10 states when it comes to college completion.

In her “State of Higher Education” address, commissioner Teresa Lubbers says students want more practical experience from their courses. 

A study conducted by polling agency Gallup and Purdue University shows that only 6-percent of college graduates think they had a meaningful internship while in school.  Lubbers says that figure is driving a new state campaign.

“It should be the rule – and not the exception – that students have quality work-based learning in all disciplines, not just in engineering, education, and nursing," Lubbers says. "Governor Pence and Lieutenant Governor Ellspermann are leading these efforts and challenging employers to add 10,000 internships or other work-based learning experiences.”

In addition to a more hands-on curriculum, Lubbers says Indiana needs to focus on adult learners – those that began degrees, but never completed them.  She wants these people to get back into a classroom to “finish what they started.”

Lubbers says Indiana is making strides in getting students their degrees in a timely fashion.  She says a year after state financial aid reforms were passed, the state has seen a double digit increase in the number of students taking 15 credits a semester – which is the benchmark of Indiana’s “15 to Finish” campaign.