Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution, as well as the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. With campuses throughout Indiana, Ivy Tech serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, as we are able to offer affordable degree programs and training aligned with the needs of the local community. 

In the Spring 2015 semester, 48% of our student population was female, 44% male and 8% was not reported. In the same time period 60% of our student population identified as Caucasian, while 10% reported as African-American, 4% reported as Hispanic and 26% reported as other, or did not report an ethnicity at all. A majority of our students are 24 years old and younger at 67% while 32% are over age 25, and 1% did not report an age. Of the students who completed the FAFSA, 20% of them identified as first-generation college students, however we believe we serve more first-generation college students as 54% did not apply for financial aid using the FAFSA. 

Each of our STEM programs consult advisory boards made up of community business leaders to shape curriculum. This enables us to be sure our graduates are prepared for the jobs of today, as well as tomorrow. These advisory boards also assist us with recruiting new students to our programs. Being closely aligned with community business helps students’ feel secure in their choice to attend Ivy Tech because they know our graduates are going straight into the workforce to high-paying and in-demand jobs in their community. 

Partnering to Close the Gap – Pathways to Success 

The Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Kokomo Region’s Integrated Technology Education Program (ITEP) through the Youth CareerConnect (YCC) grant is expanding opportunities for high school students to gain industry-driven, nationally recognized certifications that embed many STEM concepts. This program provides entry-level points for high school students as early as their sophomore year to take dual credit courses in their school setting that embed certifications such as the following: 

  • Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) – Certified Production Technician (CPT) 
  • National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) – 
  • American Welding Society (AWS) 

Students must pass the certification tests meeting the standards of these national certifying boards. Project-based learning and access to training equipment for skill building is provided. During the second semester of the student’s high school year, a work-based learning experience is included. Students will graduate from high school with the entry-level skills to enter the workforce or continue their education to acquire higher level STEM skills. 

This program’s success depends on the partnerships developed. These partnerships include the following: 

  • Vital Partners for the ITEP/YCC Program as Stakeholders 
  • Employers 
  • School corporations 
  • Economic development officials 
  • Workforce development officials 
  • Enhanced Partnerships for Program Success 
  • Sub-groups of vital partners include parents and mentors 

The development of career pathways in the School of Technology in the Industrial Technology Associate degrees allow young students to explore careers and associate STEM competency levels needed to be considered employable and successful in identified occupations through career ladders. These areas have clearly communicated and identified multiple entry and exit points. 

Employer partners support this program in several ways including curriculum development with STEM skills, simulations for classroom project based activities, service on the advisory committee, tours of their facilities, job shadowing, work-based learning experiences, teacher in industry programs, educator field days, subject matter experts in the classroom. These employer partners include the following: 

  • FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – Tipton/Kokomo, IN 
  • Red Gold, Inc. – Elwood, IN 
  • Patriot Porcelain – Kokomo, IN 
  • The Dilling Group, Inc. – Logansport, IN 
  • Carter Fuel – Logansport, IN 
  • Jeff Kellam Construction, Wabash, IN 

STEM programs for high school students are designed for two settings: students taking classes in their high school and students participating in area career center programs. The concentration of time the students have at area career centers will allow students in Machine tool and Welding programs to achieve a Technical Certificate from the College upon graduation from high school. 

Fall Semester 2015 begins the second year of this program. Early success include the following: 

  • Increase in enrollment in high school and career center industrial courses 
  • 249 unduplicated student headcount in partner schools – 2014-15 
  • Currently enrolling for 2015-16 – significant increase based on participation by partner schools at the Manufacturing Day Event with 375 students attending. 
  • Industry support and engagement 
  • Instructor certifications for teachers 
  • 2015-16 dual credit curriculum embedded with nationally recognized certifications 

Advanced Automation and Robotics Technology – Early College to Career Model 

In this industry-driven career pathway, companies are engaged in recruiting and providing internships for high school students who will then progress from a technical certificate upon graduation to their associate degrees while earning and learning within a company. During their high school experience, Automation and Robotics Technology I is a 2 hour/day course that introduces students to curriculum covering the multi-craft skills needed by Industrial technicians to complete the complex and varied tasks for the career. The year one curriculum includes OSHA 10 safety certification; basic electricity including electrical laws and principles of DC and AC currents, Digital Electronics; the basic theory, operation and programming of automated manufacturing systems; the basic principles and practices of mechanical technology; the common types of electrical wiring circuits used for power and control of electrical devices and motors used in manufacturing; and the common types of electrical wiring circuits used for power and control of electrical devices and motors used in advanced manufacturing. 

Students are recruited with the understanding that this is their future. Industries all across the country use robots to manufacture products and preform services. . Automated control systems are found in thousands of machines and processes in business and industry. Maintenance Technicians, Industrial Electricians and Electrical Controls Engineers are in high demand. With over 450,000 skilled trades job openings across the country this is a career choice that will provide life- long employment and learning opportunities. 

High school graduates then enter the Advanced Automation and Robotics (AART) program at Ivy Tech which offers hands-on learning with modern equipment in classes taught by faculty who have spent their careers working in manufacturing. They will be able to troubleshoot automated manufacturing equipment like PLCs, robotics, pneumatics, hydraulics, and motors and controls. 

For even more real-world experience, this degree offers the opportunity for a paid internship at local companies where students will work two days per week and attend class three days per week. A few of the companies we partner with include Eli Lilly, Ingersoll Rand, Oerlicon, Alcoa, Amatrol, Dupont and Allison Transmission. 

Graduates of the AART program will be able to work as an automated equipment technician in almost any industry. Students will earn several certifications that will make them even more valuable to employers including the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential, the OSHA Certification and the Siemens Level 1 certification. 

While this early college model has been piloted in one site, the AART degree is available in 17 sites across the state and has grown over two years to enroll 300 students engaging 164 companies. 

Key STEM Initiatives

Increasing Women in STEM 

One example is increasing our female STEM student population. As a result of a grant from the NSF, Ivy Tech is participating in a statewide initiative; Ivy Women in STEM (ivyWiSTEM) aimed at investigating reasons for the variances in hiring and advancement of female STEM full-time and adjunct faculty. The ivyWiSTEM program seeks to address the following four goals: 1) Collect and analyze institutional information to determine variances in recruitment, retention, and advancement of female STEM faculty at each of Ivy Tech’s regions; 2) Gather data and suggestions from external sources to foster collaboration and develop institutional transformation strategies; 3) Build institutional support for ivyWiSTEM project and transformation at the College; and 4) Develop comprehensive institutional transformation plan for Ivy Tech. As students and potential students see women faculty in STEM they are more likely to consider STEM related programs and careers. 

Addressing Math Barriers 

Ivy Tech also recognized that the math requirement for all of our programs, Algebra, is not the best fit for all our technology and STEM programs. For some it was a barrier to degree completion. Last year we dramatically changed our math pathways to better fit the programs and degree outcomes. There is a quantitative pathway, a science/math pathway, and an applied technology career pathway. Each of these pathways contain STEM degree outcomes, but the math is more relevant to the degree. The data being submitted with this response confirms that the Respondent routinely has more female than male students taking the primary introductory math course (M118). While the change from M118 to the new Math 122 will benefit both male and female students, IvyTech anticipates that female students will benefit more than male students, if for no other reason there are more female students impacted by this change. 

Adding Internships 

Another recently implemented strategy for recruiting, retaining, and graduating students came with the addition of paid internships and co-ops to some of our technology programs. Students participate in cohorts attending classes 3 days per week and working 2 days per week. The industry partners in these programs and engaged to the extent that they go with college deans to various events recruiting students by giving them a future, a career – not just a job. At the end of their program they may get an offer from the company or they may be recruited by another industry partner. 

This model most closely matches the German education system. We are studying that system and trying to use it as a model because it seems to be one of the best in the world at recruiting, retaining, and graduating students in STEM. In Germany 2/3 of the 16 to 24 year olds in the country have been through an apprenticeship of some sort. While this is an excellent system the Germans are still challenged with recruiting female students to traditional male dominated trades. 


50 W Fall Creek Pkwy N Dr
Indianapolis, IN 46208
United States
(317) 921-4800