Ivy Tech Community College Names New South Bend-Elkhart Chancellor

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College has selected Dr. Tia Robinson-Cooper as the next chancellor for its South Bend-Elkhart campus. She will begin her duties on July 11, 2022.

Dr. Robinson-Cooper, formerly the president of Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California, was chosen after a national search and with input from members of the Ivy Tech President’s cabinet, campus and state boards, chancellors, campus faculty and staff, the South Bend-Elkhart Ivy Tech Foundation, and members of the Elkhart community.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Robinson-Cooper to Ivy Tech,” said Dr. Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech. “She is an experienced community college leader with two decades of progressive leadership experience. I look forward to supporting her work as she leads the South Bend-Elkhart campus, placing more students on the path to high-quality education and successful careers which support the economic growth of South Bend-Elkhart.”

“I have always admired Ivy Tech’s intentional commitment to workforce development and social-economic mobility,” said Dr. Tia Robinson-Cooper. “I am honored to serve as chancellor of Ivy Tech South Bend-Elkhart and look forward to continuing this important work.”

Prior to her presidency at Contra Costa College in California, Dr. Robinson-Cooper served as the Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer at Inver Hills Community College, one of 30 community colleges within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. As Provost, she created a data-informed culture focused on continuous improvement, equity in student learning, and maximizing labor market impact.

Dr. Robinson-Cooper has also served as the Vice-President of Academic Affairs at East Central College. She was instrumental in increasing student enrollment and retention; advancing early college programs; improving student success outcomes; fostering a holistic student-centered experience; and establishing partnerships with nonprofit and business leaders. Before Dr. Robinson-Cooper’s tenure at East Central, she served in numerous positions including Dean of Teaching and Learning (Rock Valley College); Associate Dean and Dean of Instruction (Olive-Harvey College); Dean of Academic Affairs (Northwestern College); and adjunct faculty appointments (City Colleges of Chicago, Elmhurst College, and University of Phoenix).

Originally from Chicago, Dr. Robinson-Cooper earned a Doctor of Education in Counseling and Adult Higher Education from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL; a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from National Louis University in Chicago, IL; a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL; and an Associate of Science in Business Administration from Kishwaukee College in Malta, IL.

The college engaged the national search firm MyersMcRae to assist in the selection process.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degree and short-term certificate programs, and trainings that align to the needs of the community. The College also offers courses and associate degree programs that seamlessly transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a Bachelor’s degree. Follow Ivy Tech on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the most up-to-date information.

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Fitch Affirms ‘AA’ Rating, Enhances Outlook to Positive

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Fitch Ratings has affirmed Ivy Tech Community College’s (Ivy Tech) ‘AA’ bond rating and updated its outlook to “Positive” from “Stable.”

There are three primary bond rating agencies – Fitch, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), and Moody’s. Credit ratings issued by these agencies provide investors with information about the issuer’s ability to meet its financial obligations.

“Ivy Tech’s ‘AA’ bond rating with a positive outlook is a direct reflection of our long-standing commitment to financial stewardship.” Dr. Sue Ellspermann, President, Ivy Tech Community College said. “Our financial strength allowed us to focus on our students and freeze tuition during the pandemic, as well as leverage federal relief funds to provide free textbooks for all students during the 2021-23 academic years. We will continue to invest in our students while working to reduce the cost of higher education.”

Ivy Tech has historically worked with two of the three agencies, Fitch and S&P, to evaluate its ability to meet its debt obligations as it relates to capital. These agencies monitor financial conditions in an ongoing way and conduct a thorough annual review.

“This high-quality rating and positive outlook are a result of the consistent support of the Indiana General Assembly and Governor, combined with Ivy Tech’s proven ability to maintain a strong balance sheet and positive operating margins through turbulent times,” said Dominick Chase, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “President Ellspermann and Ivy Tech’s State Board of Trustees have established a systemwide culture of conservative yet flexible and innovative financial management.”

“Management has an excellent track record of managing expenses through enrollment cycles,” the Fitch report states. “The Positive Outlook reflects (Ivy Tech’s) growth in reserves in recent years, consistent operating performance through the pandemic, and very strong debt leverage ratios, which if coupled with sustained enrollment growth beyond the current academic year could support a higher rating over the next 1-2 years.”

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns to the needs of the community. The College provides seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a Bachelor’s degree.

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Ivy Tech Community College and IndyGo Partner with Amalgamated Transit Union to Provide Technical Certifications in Diesel Technology

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Ivy Tech Community College, in partnership with IndyGo and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1070, today announced they are providing IndyGo diesel apprentices with a pathway to a technical certificate from Ivy Tech in Diesel Technology.

By using a prior learning assessment, the agreement allows an IndyGo Apprenticeship Program graduate who successfully completes the Bus Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program to receive up to 24 credits after completing 16 credit hours at Ivy Tech that will go toward a Technical Certification in Diesel Technology, giving more students options to pursue a credential or degree that will provide a high wage, high demand career in Indiana’s workforce.

“IndyGo is constantly thinking of the future and ways to remove barriers and increase professional development opportunities for its workforce,” said IndyGo President and CEO Inez Evans. “We can do both with our newly registered apprenticeship program and our partnership with Ivy Tech. This partnership will keep IndyGo at the forefront of industry technology and help bolster our employees’ skills in today’s ever-advancing, high-tech field. We’re excited to add yet another tool to our toolbelt through this collaboration.”

While the program mimics other apprenticeship programs offered at Ivy Tech, this program is the first of its kind within the Transportation/Logistics sector, specifically Diesel Technology.

“By offering IndyGo diesel apprentices with the option to continue their education at Ivy Tech, we’re investing in Indiana’s future – providing employers and our state with graduates well-prepared for high wage, high demand careers aligned to employer needs,” said Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech.

Ivy Tech and IndyGo will promote the program to diesel apprentices this summer and expect students to enroll into the program as early as this fall.

“Ivy Tech is setting a remarkable example for the future of diesel technology, right here in Indianapolis, said Dr. Lorenzo Esters, chancellor of Ivy Tech Indianapolis. “Thanks to this partnership, we can elevate the vitality of this critical sector and ensure more students get connected to jobs that strengthen our workforce in this city and across our state.”

About IndyGo
IndyGo, the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, is committed to connecting the community to economic and cultural opportunities through safe, reliable, and accessible mobility experiences. The IndyGo Red Line is the longest fully-battery electric bus rapid transit line in the Midwest and provides service through the heart of Indianapolis. To learn more, visit our website, follow us on Twitter @IndyGoBus or call 317.635.3344.

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns to the needs of the community. The College provides seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree.

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