LAFAYETTE – Thanks to a generous donation by the Smith family, Ivy Tech-Lafayette will soon be offering an Accelerated Associate Degree Program (AADP) in general studies. Other degree programs may be added in the future.
The Smith family not only has tremendous experience in philanthropy, but education as well. Mr. Mike Smith is presently chairman of the Commission for Higher Education and sits on the board of the Lumina Foundation. Mike was entered into the Jefferson High School Hall of Fame in recognition of a very successful business career, which includes his position as chief financial officer for Anthem. All three Smith brothers, Mike, Jim and Ed are graduates of Jefferson High School. Mike Smith currently resides in Carmel with his wife Susan.
Jim Smith has had a long and successful career in consumer finance, home building and home improvement. Along with his brothers, Jim is a co-owner of Bee Windows located in Lafayette and Fort Wayne. His wife Jeanna is a Purdue retiree.
Following his military service, Ed Smith spent 18 years in various management positions with Bell Telephone. Ed left Bell to become president of “Guy” Tronics in Pennsylvania, but retired to Lafayette in order to join the family business. Stephanie Smith, Ed’s wife, is a counselor at Jefferson High School where she has worked as a teacher and counselor for over 30 years. Stephanie has always been a great friend to the Ivy Tech – Lafayette campus.
Announced at a private reception March 5, 2011, the AADP will meet the needs of students who face significant barriers to higher education. Students who have not taken a college-prep track in high school but are high-achieving students will particularly benefit from the program.
The AADP provides recent high school graduates with the opportunity to earn an associate degree in one year. This degree can lead to a career or transfer to a 4-year program at one of Indiana’s public colleges and universities. Students participating in the AADP join a learning community that provides support from their peers and faculty mentors. With the support of this learning community, the students’ chances of successful completion are greatly improved.
Ivy Tech – Lafayette has modeled their program after similar programs piloted in the Ivy Tech Indianapolis and Ivy Tech Fort Wayne regions. Both of these programs were funded through a Lumina grant. The Lafayette AADP will parallel, in many ways, the program offered at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and will initially offer the same curriculum.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. 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.