Ivy Tech Community College receives $200K grant from the National Science Foundation

FORT WAYNE, IN — The National Science Foundation has awarded Ivy Tech Community College Northeast a $199,977 grant to develop a new microsystems certificate program at the College.

Andrew Bell, the engineering department chair, is working with the Southwest Center for Microsystems Education, based out of the University of New Mexico, to develop the program. The university is the center for microsystems technology—small, like nanotechnology, but on a larger scale—and it has been working with the College for two years on microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS.

Students in the engineering programs at Ivy Tech Northeast would be able to earn this microsystems certificate (which does not yet have an official name) on the way to their associate degree. Once they take the necessary coursework, they would be eligible to sit in on the Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench, or LabVIEW, certification exam. This is a nationally recognized test.

“Many companies are looking for people who have LabVIEW experience,” Bell says. “It should help our students get a job. It should make our relationships with local industries stronger because we’re specifically training technicians to do what (the industries) want them to do. It’s really an exciting thing.”

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 serves nearly 200,000 students annually and has campuses throughout Indiana. It functions 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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