Welcome

Through the Indiana College Network, or ICN, Indiana colleges and universities work together, to help you learn about and enroll in the wide range of programs and courses available at a distance.

Distance learning provides a tremendous opportunity for those whose obligations or schedules prevented them from realizing their educational dreams. Whether you live hundreds of miles away or just across the street from a campus, technology today is a solid bridge to link you, your teachers and other learners.

ICN member institutions are experienced in helping distant students. All pay close attention to assure that distant students receive quality instruction. ICN member institutions are accredited by regional and specialized accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. They offer individual courses as well as complete certificate and degree programs for students from middle school, graduate school and beyond.

We hope this Web Site makes it easy for you to locate the information you need, but if you have questions, please let us know, we are happy to help you!

Sincerely,
ICN Staff

Who We Are & What We Do

Who We Are
ICN is a cooperative service of Indiana’s colleges and universities and their educational partners. It’s operated by Vincennes University. All members are accredited by the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission. High school programs are accredited by NCA’s Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

What We Do
In a general sense, ICN is a match-making service: we help people locate the educational programs of interest to them, and we help member institutions find students. ICN itself does not offer certificates or programs—those come from our accredited member institutions. Through its Web site, ICN provides information about distance learning in general and about the array of distance learning opportunities available, from short classes for continuing education through full diploma or degree programs at all levels.

ICN has two core values: keeping student needs at the center of what we do, and maintaining the balance between “high tech” and “high touch.” The staff responds promptly to inquiries and helps prospective students find a nearby learning center or the right institutional office to get started. Through ICN, institutions also arrange for their students to take classes from other ICN members as seamlessly as possible while preserving financial aid eligibility.

History & Background

The Indiana College Network (ICN) was launched in July 1994 by Indiana’s colleges and universities, acting collectively through the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System (IHETS) and one of its key leadership groups, the Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education (IPSE). Its mission is to be a learner-centered electronic-learning collaboration that provides partner institutions with innovative means to meet lifelong learning needs of Indiana citizens.

When ICN was created, Indiana’s higher education institutions were well ahead of those in many other states, offering 15 degree programs entirely at a distance and well over 100 college credit courses per year via technology, primarily by video. Enrollments in credit classes hovered in the range of 7,000 to 8,000 per year. Most of the degree programs and many of the classes were at the graduate level, however, leaving those interested in associate or bachelor’s completion degrees with few choices.

Since the consistent goal of IPSE was to create and sustain “a single coordinated system of distance learning for Indiana’s citizens,” it focused attention from the outset on expanded faculty development, coordinated course and program planning with emphasis on the undergraduate level, improved technology access throughout the state, and coordinated student services.

ICN was created to serve as an information clearinghouse for students and student services coordinators. To that end, it encompassed a print catalog and online database of classes and degree and certificate programs, a telephone hotline to answer questions, print and online explanations of distance education and higher education procedures, and eventually a way for students to request enrollment through the ICN Web site. One of the key accomplishments that enabled the launch of ICN was a policy document known as the Home Institution Model, at that time a revolutionary statewide agreement to assure students consistent recording of their class progress and the ability to cross-register between institutions without jeopardizing their financial aid.

The growth has been staggering. Today:

  • The ICN online catalog includes more than 200 complete certificate and degree programs available at a distance.
  • Approximately 3,000 college credit classes are offered in any given semester via technology (including hundreds of “open enrollment” classes that students can start at any time).
  • Roughly 200 distance classes are available to high-school students every semester.
  • Over 500 online continuing education classes are regularly available in topics ranging from workplace skills to personal enrichment.
  • Some 60 learning centers scattered across the state in communities large and small provide access to a host of local support services.
  • Annual college credit enrollments in technology-delivered classes have long since passed the 100,000 mark.

This growth in distance education and ICN over the past ten years has been driven most notably by the explosion of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Even though video is still the most suitable technology for some subjects and for some learners, electronic communication has enriched the ways in which instruction is conducted across the board and has enabled many more institutions to participate in this form of educational outreach. Correspondingly, in 2005 more of ICN’s services and resources are Web-based, from student inquiries to back-end enrollment processes among multiple campuses. True to our attempt to blend high tech with high touch, however, there continue to be human beings at the end of a chat, telephone call, or videoconference, and human beings available to help at local learning centers. And the institutions continue to work together through IPSE and ICN, listening to student feedback and requests, to identify and meet emerging educational needs of the people of Indiana.