Ivy Tech Muncie Engages in Community Partnerships to Help Students Thrive
Writer / Melissa Gibson
Photographer / ????
Ivy Tech’s Muncie campus has been a mainstay for more than 50 years, and Chancellor Jeffrey Scott has been directing its success since 2017.
Scott first came to Ivy Tech as an adjunct faculty member in 2001. He served as the criminal justice program chair for the East Central Region (Anderson, Marion and Muncie) in 2004, and dean of public affairs and social services, education, computing and informatics, and business. He was subsequently appointed vice chancellor of academic affairs.
He led a $43 million capital project to help transform the Muncie campus, and under his leadership Ivy Tech brought nearly 2,500 students and staff into downtown Muncie.
Ivy Tech currently offers more than 70 programs focusing on a variety of careers from accounting to aviation, dental hygiene and culinary arts. Many degrees are offered online and costs are kept to a minimum.
Through the past two years, tuition costs have been frozen. Textbook fees are included in the tuition, and based on the number of credits taken, students can receive fixed rates and discounts.
However, what matters most to Scott are the relationships formed with students, staff and the community as a whole.
“As a campus, we focus on serving our local community needs,” he says. “We want to be highly engaged and flexible, and we work with employer and educational partners, neighborhood associations and faith-based associations. We want to be an anchor in the community for not only today, but for the future.”
Working with employer partners allows Ivy Tech to assess needs in today’s business market, and provide the training necessary to succeed in high-paying, highly valued job opportunities.
If an employer needs students trained in a specific type of equipment or a specific skill set, the college will look at a curriculum and design it to meet current objectives.
When a new company is looking to relocate to Muncie, Ivy Tech is one of the first to reach out and meet with them, and talk about degree options and what kind of training will best serve their needs – empowering both the employer and the future employee.
“Our school of manufacturing has grown by 30% in the last two years, and we’re seeing a lot of nurses and physical therapy techs graduating,” Scott says. “The sonography program was launched a few years ago based on our local health care partners’ needs.”
They also partner with the local high school, graduating nearly 200 students last year who finished their associate degree while still earning their high school diploma.
For Scott, the most important aspect in the role of chancellor is watching the students finish a two-year degree, and go on to a high-wage position in a high-demand field.
“Being able to walk our campus and see the students who hang out – I know them by name and I know their story,” Scott says. “I see those moments when their eyes light up, or at their graduation when they walk across that stage, instead of handing them a diploma, you get a great big hug. Knowing that you’re making a difference is very satisfying. We can see the impact we’re having in people’s lives. I tell my staff when I welcome students on the first day of class, I know that here they are loved, safe, cared for and valued.”
For more information, visit ivytech.edu.