Community College Month: A Cause for Celebration Well Beyond our Campuses

By Dr. Sue Ellspermann, President, Ivy Tech Community College

“Our Communities. Your College.” That’s the promise of Ivy Tech Community College. And that’s why we believe Community College Month, which takes place in April, is worth celebrating well beyond our campuses.

Since our founding in 1963, Ivy Tech has prepared students for the workforce or transfer to a four-year university and strengthened the economy by aligning our credentials with employer needs. With the adoption of our new strategic plan, we have affirmed this commitment and made tremendous strides toward our goal of awarding more than 50,000 high-quality credentials annually. With more than 40 locations offering high-value certificates, certifications and associate degrees, we’re making an impact in communities large and small, urban and rural, and in every corner of the state.

Here are some of the accomplishments made by our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners we’re celebrating this month:

  • Our successful work with Governor Eric Holcomb, the Department of Workforce Development, and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) in developing and executing the Next Level Jobs initiative, engaging with local employers to identify high-impact, short-term credentials and non-credit training required to prepare Indiana’s workforce. More than 8,000 Hoosiers are enrolled in these high demand credentials.
  • Our partnership with the ICHE and other state-supported higher education institutions to enhance transfer opportunities for students. As a result, Indiana students save more than $10,000 and as much as $50,000 on the first two years of college when they graduate from Ivy Tech before moving on to a bachelor’s degree.
  • Delivering dual credit to more than 61,000 high school students with the potential of saving more than $10 million per year on college tuition. In fact, Purdue found in its own study that students who came with credits from Ivy Tech performed even better than their other students–and were more likely to graduate on time.
  • Our Achieve Your Degree partnership with the Indiana Chamber and more than 150 employers offering free tuition for their employees to pursue degrees and credentials that will boost their careers without requiring employees to “upfront” the money.
  • Our work with the Indiana Department of Correction to deliver high wage, high demand credentials to incarcerated individuals as they transition toward release and prepare themselves for a new start. Nearly 100 percent of these ex-offenders are employed for a true second chance.
  • Our transition to predominantly 8-week courses is helping adults stay focused and complete faster. And we will continue to reinvent higher education to better serve our students, employers and communities.
  • Strengthening our connections to the communities we serve with our new campus-based structure, campus boards, and advisory councils.
  • Our continued focus on cost savings and fundraising while working to ensure public funding provided to Ivy Tech remains an excellent return on investment. This is underscored by the Ivy Tech Foundation’s standing as the largest community college foundation in the nation.

Clearly, we have a lot to celebrate at Ivy Tech—and we hope you’ll join us. After all, Ivy Tech is not just Indiana’s community college; it’s your community college. You’re to thank for our success, and your continued support is critical to ensure that our future, and the future prospects for our students, remain bright, this month and every month.

President Ellspermann is Ivy Tech Community College’s ninth president and oversees the largest singly accredited community college in the nation. She has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, economic and workforce development, and public service.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, 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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