Ivy Tech–Northeast Introducing 5 New Academic Programs in August

NORTHEAST – When classes begin Monday, August 22, 2011, Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast will launch five new academic programs available to students attending the college in the immediate nine-county northeast Indiana area. The programs—Engineering Technology, HVAC, Health Information Technology, Information Systems Security, and Pre-Engineering—were identified, proposed, and approved as degree tracks that our immediate area had an additional need for educated and trained individuals to help support the specific industries and fields of study.

Program Chair for Information Systems Security John Knight commented on how his new program of study is relevant to organizations that are finding more of an immediate need to address information security and digital forensics. “The U.S. Air Force is establishing a professional force of cyber operators and developing cyber career paths for officers, enlisting both personnel and civilians,” said Knight. “The new Air Force Cyber Command and the Air National Guard are among the focal points of the plan, and as many as 40,000 cyber warfare specialists will be trained for cyber operations.

James Brunson, program chair for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), said his program emphasizes the use of lab training and hands-on projects. “Most of the HVAC courses involve a lab component in each class activity,” said Brunson. “Students are exposed to new technologies like geothermal, digitalized applications, wireless controls, and computer simulations, as well as a thorough grounding in existing technologies to service current equipment that will last for many years into the future.”

For more information on each program, including details on the degree tracks as well as the northeast Indiana job market indicators, refer to the following detailed information about each area of study. Otherwise, interested parties can visit www.ivytech.edu or call 888-IVY-LINE.

5 News Programs In Detail

Engineering Technology
The Associate of Science in Engineering Technology will provide students with technical skills and knowledge necessary for employment in engineering and technology industries. The program will educate skilled technicians who will work with engineers and other technicians to design, implement, and support engineering processes.  Activities such as collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data and troubleshooting complex integrated systems will be foundational concepts in all coursework. Students will develop basic and advanced skills appropriate to the application of science, technology, engineering, and math that will enable graduates to enter the workforce and/or transfer to a four-year engineering technology program.  Graduates can continue their education at selected university sites across Indiana, applying their credits towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology. This program is designed to meet the Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Technology Programs as set forth by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. Graduates of the Engineering Technology associate degree will use the principles and theories of science, engineering, and mathematics to solve technical problems in research and development, manufacturing, sales, construction, inspection, and maintenance. Their work is more narrowly focused and application-oriented than that of scientists and engineers. Many engineering technicians assist engineers and scientists, especially in research and development. Others work in quality control, inspecting products and processes, conducting tests, or collecting data. In manufacturing, they may assist in product design, process design, development, or production. According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Web site Hoosiers by the Numbers, EGR 2 has the largest manufacturing base in the state with 26.9 percent of the total employment attributed to Manufacturing. Likewise, EGR 4 is a well developed manufacturing region.  Eight of the top 10 major employers in this region are manufacturing in nature.  This region has also hosted a dramatic increase in alternative energy related employment potential in the areas of wind turbine construction and maintenance, biofuel production, battery technology, and smartgrid technologies.  The EGR regions 8, 9, and 11 find similar analysis points with compensation packages that average over $60,000/year in manufacturing which is similar across the State. Projections for this field indicate 72 available jobs in northeast Indiana annually between now and 2015.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
The HVAC program is not completely new to Ivy Tech, as it was a stand-alone program from its inception until 1990. It was expanded to include Construction, Electrical, Landscape and Architectural Technology and was renamed Construction Technology. Beginning in August 2011, it will return to a stand-alone program with its own specific degrees and certificates. The program prepares students to pursue careers in the Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning fields. These areas represent important service sector occupations that are challenging, high tech professions. For the student, who is oriented to the Service Technician profession, this new program allows enhanced experience in these career areas.  No other training institution in the area will offer more opportunities to be trained in this variety of occupational skill-sets.  The student will be involved in learning Heating, Air Conditioning, Heat Pumps, Boilers, Refrigeration, Duct Fabrication (Sheet Metal), Electrical basics, Electrical Circuits & Controls and Air Distribution Design. The statistics indicate an expanding market for these HVAC skills.  The projection for growth is estimated a 28 percent between 2010 and 2018. This will translate into another 86,000 jobs plus the replacements for the retiring workers currently employed. 

Health Information Technology
The Associate of Science in Health Information Technology requires 69 to 71 credit hours to complete. Some courses in this area have been offered to date, but the degree program will be rounded out by implementing the additional coursework according to statewide and accrediting agency guidelines. The degree is designed to articulate into a Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics at IUPUI or Western Governor’s University. Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree after transfer will be eligible for the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) credential. The program will be structured as a limited enrollment program due to academic rigor and clinical availability, although regional institutions are very supportive of implementation of this program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment opportunities for medical records and health information technologists to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018, with a projected increase in demand of 20 percent for the years 2008-2018. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development projects that the number of these employed professionals will grow by 20.5 percent over 10 years, from 4,053 to 4,883 across the state. Graduates can expect employment opportunities in the health information and medical records professions. Locations include physician offices, clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and any other institution that manages patient/client health information and data.

Information Security
The Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems Security requires 64 credit hours to complete. The degree will prepare students to work in areas related to information assurance and computer security. The certificates are designed for students currently working in the computer industry to enhance their knowledge of information and network-related risks and their avoidance and resolution. Major employers include computer and data processing companies, wholesale and retail trade companies, universities and colleges, and federal, state, and local government agencies. According the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer support specialists is expected to increase faster than average for all occupations through 2014, as organizations continue to adopt increasingly sophisticated technology and integrate IT into their systems. Job growth will continue to be driven by the ongoing expansion of the computer system design and related services industry, which is projected to remain one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. economy.  As computers and software become more complex, support specialists will be needed to provide technical assistance to customers and other users.  New mobile technologies, such as the wireless Internet, will continue to create a demand for these workers to familiarize and educate computer users.  Physical location is not as important for computer support specialists as it is for others, because these workers can provide assistance remotely and support services can be provided around the clock. Also, demand for computer security specialists will grow as businesses and government continue to invest heavily in “Computer Security,” protecting vital computer networks and electronic infrastructures from attack.  The information security field is expected to generate many opportunities over the next decade as firms across all industries place a high priority on safeguarding their data and systems. The long term job projections from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development show that employment in the computer industry, specifically in the computer support specialists in the state of Indiana will grow at an annual rate 8.25 percent. Using the 10-year projection, over the next 10 years, 5,000 plus new and replacement workers will be needed in this area alone. 

The Associate of Science in Pre-Engineering Transfer (EGR) is designed to prepare students for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs in engineering.  The program curriculum will provide a strong foundation in science, math, and technology.  Special emphasis is placed on qualitative and quantitative analytical skills necessary in engineering design and problem-solving while working in a cooperative team environment.  Graduates of the Pre-Engineering Technology associate degree will use the principles and theories of science, engineering, and mathematics to solve technical problems in research and development, manufacturing, sales, construction, inspection, and maintenance. Projections for this field indicate 112 available jobs in northeast Indiana annually between now and 2015.

Ivy Tech Community College 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.

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