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Ivy Tech hits 50

Madison campus celebration
set for March 27

Established in 1963, the college
has seen tremendous growth

(March 2013) – In 1973, Ivy Tech Community College Southeast (now comprised of campuses in Madison, Batesville and Lawrenceburg) awarded 11 students the first diplomas issued by the school. In May, 2012, more than 450 students graduated in a ceremony held at Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana. Through the decades Ivy Tech’s influence and contributions to the southeastern Indiana community have grown along with the enrollment. Ivy Tech Southeast now serves more than 4,000 students at the combined campuses.

Ivy Tech

Photo provided

Ivy Tech first opened in Madison, Ind., in this building in November 1983. It was renovated and remodeled and is now the east wing, facing closest to the four-way intersection of Hwys. 62 and 421.

Ivy Tech College was established in 1963 and originally known as Indiana Vocational Technical College. Throughout 2013, the college will celebrate 50 years of educating and training students across Indiana. On March 27, the party comes to the Madison campus. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Ivy Tech will play host to an open house, featuring displays of the various programs and student groups that have created Ivy Tech. Pictures of graduating classes, faculty and events will likewise bring the school’s history to life for alumni, faculty and community members. The public is invited to attend.
Celebrations are also planned for April 30 at the Lawrenceburg campus and May 1 for the Batesville campus.
Don Heiderman, Executive Dean for the Madison campus, said he hopes the community will come to celebrate. “We are grateful for all the ways the community has supported Ivy Tech, and we want the community to join us. I would also like the community to realize we’re fairly fortunate to have a community college in Madison. There are 45 cities and towns with a larger population than Madison that do not have an Ivy Tech campus.”
Heiderman said that as the community members join the celebration they will gain a deeper appreciation for all that Ivy Tech offers.
Ivy Tech contributes to both the Madison community and state in countless ways. Ivy Tech is the largest, accredited community college in the nation. Jim Helms, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Southeast, notes that, unlike community colleges in most other states, Ivy Tech operates as one entity with 32 campuses plus 11 additional instructional sites. Helms notes, “Our admissions, administration, and curriculum all fall under Thomas Snyder, President of Ivy Tech. These remain consistent throughout the state.”
Helms routinely travels between the Batesville, Lawrenceburg and Madison campuses to ensure this consistency and to continually increase the quality for the students who attend the school.
Helms said he wants people to see how far Ivy Tech has come in 50 years. Helms first points to the growth in students – the school now serves nearly 200,000 students statewide.
“Every Hoosier lives within 35 miles of an Ivy Tech school. So students don’t have to travel or live in a dorm to further their education. That, combined with the lowest tuition in the state, means that it’s feasible for those who want to go to college to do so.”
Helms also points to the wide range of majors offered to students – from two-year programs that train students directly for the job to associate degrees that transfer to four-year institutions allowing students to keep costs lower for their overall education. Further, Ivy Tech strives for flexibility in scheduling to meet the diversity of demand.
“Whether you are young, middle aged or older, or male or female, or employed with a family or just starting out, we schedule classes so all these groups can seek education. We know many of our students have a job and family but need to further their education. By staying local and low-cost, we offer that opportunity,” says Helms.
Heiderman echoes Helms’ focus on the low cost for an Ivy Tech education. “Credit cards used to be the number one cause of debt problems. Now the No. 1 cause is college debt. We offer quality instruction at affordable cost so students can get the education they need without going into huge debt,” says Heiderman. He said he looks forward to Ivy Tech continuing to expand the cutting edge training in technology and to providing the area with a well-trained workforce.
Heiderman also notes the contributions Ivy Tech has made for employers.
“We retrain employees for skills needed in changing business practices. We help with workforce development by offering custom training to industry in the area. When new businesses look to locate in an area, they look for an educated workforce. Ivy Tech helps draw businesses to Madison,” says Heiderman.
For Madison, Heiderman notes the most popular programs have been in nursing, power plant technology and business administration. “We hope that when students begin their education here, even if they go on to another college to complete their degree, their connection to Madison at the beginning will bring them, and their expertise, back to the community.”
Heiderman and Helms both encourage the community to join the celebration on March 27. “Every student – even if they took just one class – is invited. We want to say ‘thank you’ to those in the community who have supported Ivy Tech through capital projects, community events, and scholarship drives. We appreciate all those who have made Ivy Tech a special place. It’s not just the college building, the students, the faculty or the community, it’s all of these combined. As we turn 50, we thank those who have done anything for the college and want to involve them in any way we can,” says Helms.

 

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