By Jennie Vaughan, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all had to adapt to a changing world. Parents have had to learn how to homeschool their children–or at the very least keep them focused on remote learning. Workers have had to adapt to new ways of doing their jobs–and that’s for the lucky ones. Others had to navigate unemployment or find a new place to work. And everyonewas required to learn the new rules of not spreading illness throughout our communities and families during these unprecedented times.
Amid all of these challenges caring for others or undertaking a job search often takes precedence over personal and professional goals. To some extent, this is understandable—becoming ill, caring for a sick family member, or losing work—other priorities get placed on hold. It is during times like these, however, when we are most put to the test that we find opportunity for growth.
This is why Ivy Tech Community College is committed to providing students with a variety of ways to continue working toward their college education. We know that everyone’s circumstances are different and that flexibility is critical. As a result, we offer in-person (socially distant with facial coverings), virtual, online and blended classes. We even offer Learn Anywhere classes that accommodate fluctuating schedules—students can choose week to week if they’ll attend class in-person, virtually, or online. Meeting students where they are is important to us, especially during this pandemic.
At Ivy Tech Bloomington, we are excited to also launch IvyAccelerate, an accelerated Associate Degree program that accommodates busy schedules. Choose from three majors: Business Administration, pre-Nursing, or Cyber Security. To apply, visit www.ivytech.edu/bloomington/accelerate or call (812) 330-6013. Some Indiana residents could be eligible to start these programs tuition-free through Indiana’s Next Level Jobs.
While we continue to offer courses in a traditional 16-week format, we also offer courses in an 8-week format, which has proven to be much more successful for adults with busy schedules. Not only do students complete faster, they can start new classes nearly every eight weeks. Our next term begins October 26.
A wide variety of students can benefit from eight-week classes:
- Those who are unemployed and want to train for a new career quickly. Eight-week courses allow students to train for a new career in less than a year. And as part of Indiana’s Next Level Jobs Program, the Workforce Ready Grant pays for tuition and regularly-assessed fees for qualifying certificates at Ivy Tech. It’s a rare opportunity to receive a free education in a field where high wage, high demand jobs exist.
- Guest students attending another college or university. Guest students can take classes at Ivy Tech while enrolled at another school. Eight-week classes allow students to earn credits while on a break from their primary institution, to satisfy degree requirements when a specific class is unavailable at their primary institution, or to increase the number of credits they earn in a given time period. This allows them to accelerate their progress toward graduation or stay on track and—given Ivy Tech’s position as the most affordable college in the state—save a considerable amount of money.
- Those who missed the traditional semester start but don’t want to wait until January to enroll. While 16-week classes may still be a good choice for many students, Ivy Tech’s eight-week classes give students the option of getting started more quickly. In addition, our research shows that students taking eight-week classes actually outperform those taking 16-week classes, due in part to increased focus and ability to take fewer classes at the same time while staying on track to graduation.
Regardless of your needs, the bottom line is that you don’t have to—and shouldn’t—put off the pursuit of education. More than ever, employers are seeking skilled workers and there are stable career opportunities available now. Within every great challenge is even greater opportunity, and you don’t need to wait to get started. Taking classes at Ivy Tech starting in October is the first step toward new opportunity.
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.