Ivy Tech Terre Haute
Ivy Tech Terre Haute
Ivy Tech Terre Haute has raised more than $6.6 million toward a $12 million fundraising goal, part of a statewide community college campaign that aims to reach $285 million by the end of 2023.

Ivy Tech Community College on Thursday publicly launched its first ever statewide campaign, called “Invest IN Ivy Tech.”

Statewide, the campaign has already raised just over $200 million, or about 70% of its goal.

Ivy Tech Terre Haute's portion of the $285 million is $12 million, and it has reached more than half of its target.

All locally raised dollars remain within the local communities. All dollars raised by Ivy Tech Terre Haute will serve Vigo, Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan and Vermillion county residents.

“In West Central Indiana, Ivy Tech Terre Haute’s mission is to increase the educational attainment in our communities to prepare graduates for Indiana’s most in-demand career fields,” said Lea Anne Crooks, Ivy Tech Terre Haute chancellor.

“With 85% of Ivy Tech Terre Haute graduates staying within the Wabash Valley after graduation, our investment in their education will ensure a strong future economy locally within our communities," Crooks said.

Rachel Mullinnix, executive director of the Ivy Tech Terre Haute Foundation, said the local campaign has seven funding priorities, which essentially are about three things. "They are about educational attainment, leading to workforce development resulting in economic growth right here in the Wabash Valley," she said.

Ivy Tech Terre Haute will use the funds for such areas as scholarships, student mental health, laptops for students who need them, student success initiatives and K-14 pathway support that includes high school dual credit and dual enrollment programs.

The program started with an announcement by state officials through a live video broadcast. Afterward, Terre Haute officials talked about local goals.

Sue Ellspermann, Ivy Tech statewide president, said Indiana employers will need 1 million trained and skilled workers in the next 10 years. While the state ranks 12th in the nation in doing business, it ranks 40th nationwide for workforce readiness.

"We need to move that needle," Ellspermann said. "Ivy Tech is stepping up to do just that."

The Ivy Tech Terre Haute campaign is led by co-chairs Steve and Lori Danielson. Campaign committee members include Alpa Patel, Rick Burger, Eileen Prose, Fred Rubey, Greg Harbison, Luke Terry, Pat Ralston, Steve Finzel, TJ Warren and Vickie Wallace.

Steve Danielson said that 25% to 30% of high school students don't have a plan after graduation.

"With so many open jobs in Terre Haute right now, it's critical that we work harder to connect our high school students to Ivy Tech to advance their skills" so they qualify for these jobs.

"Our workforce needs these young adults desperately," he said, and Ivy Tech helps give students a pathway and skills to achieve more than they would otherwise.

Lori Danielson said funds raised in the campaign will help Ivy Tech Terre Haute's students with such things as scholarships and technology, which "helps retain students on their path toward learning additional skills needed to go into the workforce and achieve success."

The campaign is important, she said, because "there is so much work to be done ... to help our businesses thrive and help our community thrive."

A recent report indicates that on average, an Ivy Tech associate degree graduate will make $10,000 more in wages annually than someone who doesn't have a post-secondary degree, she said.

She gave specific examples of how the local campus has already benefited from the campaign, including through laptops for those students who didn't have access to one. "We learned during the pandemic how critical it is to have access to technology," she said.

Other funds helped with facility renovation that benefited the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMSI) program. Ivy Tech Terre Haute is one of two Ivy Tech campuses in the state offering the program.

Steve Holman, Ivy Tech Terre Haute board chairman, said the college's health sciences programs are critical to health care in the community. "We could not be where we are today in the Wabash Valley with the health care that's provided without the work being done here at Ivy Tech," he said. "It's absolutely essential to develop the workforce that 's needed."
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