Butler’s New Two-Year College to Support Underserved Students in Indianapolis

By  - 

Butler University is collaborating with the Come To Believe (CTB) Network, a national nonprofit organization that builds programs to expand college access to marginalized populations, to establish a new two-year college at its midtown Indianapolis campus. The goal is to provide an affordable pathway for historically underserved students seeking postsecondary education. The project intends to address long-standing disparities in college access and completion for these students and boost both two- and four-year degree attainment in Indiana.

Those participating will be able to earn an associate degree for free and have the opportunity to continue their education in a related four-year program at Butler. Students who earn a two-year degree through the college and choose to work toward a bachelor’s degree at Butler can do so for less than $10,000 — a fraction of the university’s annual $42,000 tuition. The college will be accessible to Pell Grant-eligible and undocumented students who face barriers to college but demonstrate the potential to succeed at the institution.

This development marks the third university to join the CTB Network, following the success of Arrupe College at Loyola University Chicago and Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Launched in 2015 and 2017, respectively, these institutions have provided a clear educational pathway for students, with more than 80 percent of graduates transferring to four-year schools. Among those who transfer, 75% earn a bachelor’s degree in five years or less, according to the CTB Network.

Butler was selected because of its proximity to a large population of low-income students, particularly those from communities of color, and its capacity to support this underserved group.

Through the partnership, the CTB Network has provided $500,000 in seed funding to bolster Butler’s new two-year program. Enrollment at the college will begin in the fall 2025 semester with associate degrees offered in business and allied health. As of January, the university was conducting a national search for an inaugural dean of the two-year college.●

This article was published in our January/February 2024 issue.