New Ivy Tech Career Coaching and Employer Engagement Initiative Receives Over $1 Million in New Funding

Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation awards nearly $1.1 million over two years for Indianapolis campus

Ivy Tech Community College’s new career coaching and employer connections initiative will empower Ivy Tech students to achieve their career aspirations by facilitating meaningful employer connections from pre-enrollment through post-graduation, in part with the support of a $1,092,860 grant from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

The career coaching and employer connections is a statewide initiative that will emphasize comprehensive career readiness best practices alongside rigorous academics through the duration of the Ivy Tech student experience. With this support, each student will be required to develop a career action plan within the first semester of enrollment that is informed by labor market data and aligned with the student’s academic plan. Ivy Tech coaches will engage with students early and often, ensuring students complete iterative career-aligned milestones every 15 credit hours, including resume development, interview preparation, employer engagement and work-and-learn experiences.

“We are grateful and honored for the investment the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation has made in Ivy Tech and our students,” Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann said. “Our approach to what some might refer to as career advising or career services is going to change and become part of the student experience from day one so that when our graduates leave to take that next step in their career they are ready to enter into a high-value, high-demand job.”

Under this new initiative, dedicated, campus-based staff will help students align curriculum selection with high-wage, high-demand careers, as well as build and sustain employer partnerships. This new staffing structure will lead to a significant increase in individualized career coaching, student internships and other work-and-learn experiences, and career placements that align with the needs of Indiana’s workforce, all of which will ultimately enhance the Hoosier economy and strengthen communities across the state.

“Research shows that students who engage in career advising are more likely to select academic programs that align with their desired career, and students who complete work-and-learn experiences have greater success in securing employment after graduation,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, President & CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. “We are proud to support Ivy Tech Community College’s work to provide students the resources and opportunities necessary to achieve meaningful career outcomes.”

Ivy Tech Community College will roll out the new program through a phased approach over the next four years.  The first phase started this fall with six campuses: Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend/Elkhart, Kokomo, Sellersburg and Madison. Student-facing activities will begin on these campuses in the Spring of 2020.

The Fairbanks Foundation grant will support the implementation of the program at the Indianapolis campus.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation adds to the list of partners who has provided resources to help the College establish this unique experience for students. The list includes: Central Indiana Community Foundation, Glick Fund, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Garatoni-Smith Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and Salesforce.


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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