Ivy Tech Community College and Follett ink new contract agreement

Focus on cost savings will result in $3 million in annual savings to students

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College has announced a new contract agreement with Follett Higher Education Group for the management of bookstores throughout the statewide college system.  It is a new three-year contract effective July, 2016.

The agreement reduces course material costs to the nearly 170,000 students attending Ivy Tech each year, saving students $3 million annually in course materials.  This agreement also expands the digital options for students and faculty and allows the College to work directly with publishers to provide digital content.

Several factors contributed to the changes that were made to the previous contract, signed in 2007.  One of those factors included the College’s Student Government Association asking leadership to focus on decreasing textbook costs as the top priority within a new contract.  A  study completed last year showed 20 percent of Ivy Tech students purchase course materials from somewhere other than Ivy Tech’s bookstores.  Much of this can be attributed to the number of online competitors and students looking for lower cost alternatives.  A committee led by the college’s Chief Procurement Officer Emily Styron and Chief Financial Officer Chris Ruhl helped to negotiate the new contract that focuses on reducing student costs.

“As we looked at our students’ purchasing habits, it was clear we needed to make significant changes to improve the affordability of course materials.  The changes are a result of tremendous teamwork by campus leadership, vice presidents, regional academic officers, and leadership at Follett.  Follett has done a terrific job ensuring the needs of our students are the top priority,” said Ruhl.

The new contract terms that will benefit students include price matching, a simplified pricing structure, and additional flexibility for digital materials.  Price matching allows students to price match materials they find for lower prices at other retailers and Follett will honor that matching price.  In addition a new simplified pricing policy eliminates charges for freight and other fees while holding the gross margin at a certain percentage.  Finally, the College will have the ability to negotiate with publishers to provide digital content to students.  Ivy Tech will also expand the use of Open Education Resources to allow students to save even more.

Follett Higher Education Group is a leading provider of bookstore services to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses.  Follett serves more than half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools to provide education technology services in addition to print and digital content.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system with campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

Cook Group partners with Ivy Tech Bloomington and Broadview Learning

Bloomington, Ind. – On Friday, June 17, Cook Group, Monroe County Community Schools Adult Education at Broadview Learning Center and Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington announced their partnership to create a new pathway between education and jobs in our community. According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, 737,000 Hoosiers have some college experience, but did not complete a degree. Cook’s education initiatives are designed to provide employees a pathway toward new career opportunities.

“Business is constantly changing and we want to provide our current and future employees the opportunity to evolve with us,” said Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical and Cook Group. “We recently redesigned our education assistance program to eliminate financial barriers so employees can increase their education and career opportunities with company support.”

Part of the redesigned education program includes a collaboration with Ivy Tech Bloomington called Achieve Your Degree. At no cost to the employee, this program allows participants to earn a certificate in seven programs including biotechnology, business administration, hospitality and various computing and informatics tracks. They can also continue their education by earning an Associate degree in these curricula developed for Cook.

“The partnership between Ivy Tech Bloomington and Cook is really a win-win,” said Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Bloomington. “We have had success with the Achieve Your Degree program with other companies and are excited to expand the program to Cook.”

The partnership with Ivy Tech Bloomington is just one example of the new education initiatives within Cook. In addition to higher education, Cook has worked with Broadview Learning Center to develop a program for employees to work part-time while they pursue their High School Equivalency (HSE).

Individuals in Southwest Central Indiana interested in working at Cook who do not have a high school diploma or HSE will be eligible to participate in the program after successfully completing the preemployment screening process. After attending the free seven-week preparatory class at Ivy Tech, then taking and passing the Test Assessing Secondary Completion to obtain their HSE, individuals will become eligible for a full-time position at Cook.

“More than 5,000 adults in Monroe County do not have a high school diploma or equivalency,” said Rob Moore, director of adult education at Broadview Learning Center. “For many, the lack of this credential is a barrier to employment in jobs that pay wages sufficient to support a family. We are excited about our partnership to create opportunities at Cook for those who previously did not qualify for employment.”

“We want to keep hardworking and talented people in Indiana by creating opportunities for career advancement,” said Yonkman. “Making education accessible and attainable provides stability for Cook employees and their families which can lead to career growth within the organization. We believe that lifelong learning is not only good for individuals, but also their families and communities.”

About Cook Medical
Since 1963 Cook Medical has worked closely with physicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Today we are combining medical devices, biologic materials and cellular therapies to help the world’s healthcare systems deliver better outcomes more efficiently. We have always remained family owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: patients, our employees and our communities. Find out more at www.cookmedical.com, and for the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington
Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington (www.ivytech.edu/bloomington) was established in 2001 and opened in 2002. Though the region has a six-county service area including Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan and Owen counties, it serves students from nearly all Indiana counties. Ivy Tech Bloomington enrolls approximately 6,200 students per semester, up from 2,600 when it opened. In 2007, the campus was named the third-fastest growing community college in the nation according to Community College Week. Ivy Tech Bloomington recently expanded its main campus and named the new space the Cook Pavilion. The Cook Pavilion contains a new library, bookstore, lecture hall, culinary wing, outdoor patio space, a Bloomingfoods café, and additional classrooms and labs, including an advanced automation and robotics technology lab.

About Broadview Learning Center
Broadview Learning Center (www.mccsc.edu/adulted) is the adult education program through Monroe County Community School Corporation. The Center provides courses for students preparing for the Indiana High School Equivalency Diploma, which can be earned after completing a test in five subject areas (math, reading, writing, science and social studies). The skills taught and eventually tested on are at the same level as those of graduating high school seniors. The program also has courses to help adults learn English as a Second Language and prepare to enter postsecondary education, job training, and employment.

Ivy Tech Community College partners with Comcast to offer employees free college

Indiana’s You Can. Go Back. Program for adult students

INDIANAPOLIS — Comcast is partnering with Ivy Tech Community College to offer its 2,000 Hoosier employees the opportunity to return to school and complete a degree or workforce credential with no out-of-pocket tuition costs. The initiative is part of the You Can. Go Back. Program, a statewide campaign that aims to help the 750,000+ Hoosier adults with some college but no degree finish what they started.

More than a traditional employee college reimbursement benefit, the partnerships allow Comcast employees to attend college without paying up-front, out-of-pocket tuition expenses. Ivy Tech offers programs that will allow Comcast employees to earn a degree or certificate directly related to their career, including technology, engineering and business administration.

“This partnership between Ivy Tech and Comcast opens doors for those aspiring to serve in leadership roles, allowing employees to get valuable degrees and certifications,” said Dr. Kathleen Lee, chancellor of Ivy Tech Central Indiana. “We love partnering with businesses like Comcast who are really investing in their employees and their communities.”

Comcast is partnering with three Indiana colleges: Ivy Tech, WGU Indiana and Indiana Wesleyan University. The company identified these three institutions as the best equipped to meet the needs of its roughly 2,000 Hoosier employees. Comcast Indiana Public Relations Director, Mike Wilson, says the company is taking the education initiative a step further.

“We know these partnerships will benefit both our Comcast Indiana employees and the talent pool that drives our company’s success,” Comcast Indiana Public Relations Director Mike Wilson said. “Working with these colleges was an enlightening and positive experience, and I think every Indiana company can benefit just by starting that conversation with colleges and learning what opportunities may be available for employees.”

Comcast unveiled a best-practices guide for corporate-college partnerships to help employers navigate the process and find connections that support and meet the needs of companies, colleges and students. The guide, available online here, was developed in collaboration with Ivy Tech, Indiana Wesleyan University and WGU Indiana.

About Comcast Cable:
Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings.  Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSACMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

About Ivy Tech:
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.