Ivy Tech Community College launches unique academic, industry-blended degree program

75 hour co-op program allows students to gain on-the-job experience with Indiana’s top companies
INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College will launch a unique academic, industry-blended 75 hour co-op Advanced Manufacturing degree program in January. Students will learn critical industrial automation/robotics maintenance skills and gain on-the-job experience with some of Indiana’s top manufacturing and logistics companies. It is scheduled to launch after the new year in Columbus, Kokomo, Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Evansville and in additional cities throughout the state in the Fall.

Ivy Tech has been working with manufacturing companies across the state to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of training and education. The Community College currently enrolls over 2,200 students in advanced manufacturing and industrial technology programs throughout the state. Beginning with a key position in manufacturing maintenance, Ivy Tech has expanded traditional maintenance training to include automation and robotics. This mechatronics approach includes an internship or co-op model that best prepares current and potential employees for advanced manufacturing maintenance careers.
“This type of on-the-job training is invaluable to both the student and the employer,” said Thomas J. Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College. “In many cases, these students will have the opportunity to gain employment after graduation within the company for which they have interned. In addition, employers gain employees that are specifically trained for careers that are very much in-demand for industry.”

As part of the program students will work as interns in a company for two days while pursuing their degree in one of the college’s manufacturing centers of excellence labs three days per week. An average of 10 companies per cohort provides intern or co-op opportunities. Students are either full time employees of the company who need a skills upgrade or interns at the company who may or may not be hired upon graduation. Companies host more interns than they want to hire to create a pool of skilled employees to support their supply chains.

This partnership is another example of the community college’s efforts supporting Governor Pence’s focus on improving education and workforce development through the Regional Works Councils and Center for Education and Career Innovation. All of these efforts ensure Indiana will be a national leader in career and technical education workforce readiness.

Students who complete the program are trained in the most current and relevant technologies, and have valuable real world maintenance experience. In anticipation of the level of success of this new training methodology, companies have requested a tool and die program, delivered in the same fashion. This new approach to technical training is similar to the German technical education model, engaging employers in student recruitment, curriculum development, review, and delivery.

Ivy Tech has already begun partnerships with Aisin, Caltherm and Ryobi in Columbus. The college is also working with several other employers to create partnerships for the 75-hour co-op program. Companies who are interested in learning more about how they can partner with Ivy Tech on the 75-hour co-op program should contact Sue Smith, Vice President for the Technology & Applied Sciences Division and Corporate Executive for Advanced Manufacturing, at 812-374-5125.

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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