Ivy Tech Evansville Announces New Career Coaching and Employer Connections Division

EVANSVILLE, IN —  Ivy Tech Community College Evansville announced a new division aimed at helping prepare students and meeting employer workforce needs January 19 at Evansville’s Rotary Club meeting. Career Coaching and Employer Connections (CCEC), will bring together career development and employer outreach to meet the needs of the workforce.

Created with students in mind, CCEC creates a cohesive model for student and employer engagement. This new, more strategic approach will emphasize comprehensive career readiness practices alongside academic preparation throughout a student’s college experience.

“We want to be where students of all ages can launch their career, as well as be the number one resource for employers to seek top talent,” said Ivy Tech Evansville Chancellor Daniela Vidal. “We provide custom training to meet the demands of companies looking to skill-up current employees so people can thrive in their career. We look forward to CCEC expanding those opportunities.”

Vic Chamness, executive director of the CCEC, said the college partnered with Ascend Indiana and studied what gaps there were that could be improved upon, ultimately resulting in the creation of this unique model.  The local impact will be strategic with partnered efforts through Evansville’s Talent 2025 initiative.

Chamness said the plan is to kick off the student portion of the initiative beginning in March, with a full implementation by fall of 2021.

Students that participate in this program will have a variety of opportunities, including:

  • Creation of a Career Development Portfolio: students will create and showcase to employers a resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, work and learn experiences, and the professional network and connections they have built with support from their CCEC team.
  • Career Coaching: focused, one-to-one relationship to help the student determine the right steps for their career path that match their values, interests, personality and skills.
  • Work and Learn: opportunity to build relationships with employers and gain direct experience in careers that interest the student, such as working alongside professionals in a tech company, or assisting on a Human Resources team in a healthcare organization.

Career Coaching and Employer Connections also benefit employers by helping them find top talent for their workforce needs and/or skill-up current employees with custom training. By closely aligning the student experience and employer needs, CCEC will meet the specific skills and training needs of employers in Indiana and neighboring states.

“As the Community College for Southwest Indiana, we are aligning more staff, programs and resources to the needs of our local workforce” Chamness said. “Ultimately, through CCEC, we will empower our students to make informed decisions about their future while creating strong connections with employers and for transfer opportunities.”

Ivy Tech has received support to establish this program from several other organizations that include: Lilly Endowment, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Central Indiana Community Foundation, Glick Fund, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Garatoni-Smith Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and Salesforce.

The College rolled out the CCEC model statewide through a phased approach. The first phase began in the fall of 2019 at the following six campuses: Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend/Elkhart, Kokomo, Sellersburg, and Madison. The second phase includes Evansville, Valparaiso, Richmond and Lawrenceburg/Batesville locations.

For questions or more information, visit IvyTech.edu/evansville/ccec or contact Vic Chamness, executive director of the Ivy Tech Evansville CCEC, at vchamness@ivytech.edu.

Ivy Tech Evansville Announces New Career Coaching and Employer Connections Division

Ivy Tech, USI Develop Guaranteed Admission Agreement for Many Programs

EVANSVILLE, IN — Ivy Tech Community College and the University of Southern Indiana have established a guaranteed admission agreement to ensure a smooth transfer to specific bachelor’s degree programs at USI, following a student’s successful completion of an Ivy Tech associate degree. This agreement is now effective.

Ivy Tech Chancellor Daniela Vidal explained that these types of agreements will assist our communities in moving forward, and help to keep our talented population in this area with the degrees they earn. “We are so excited about this opportunity to make earning a bachelor’s degree even more affordable for the communities Ivy Tech and USI serve,” Vidal said. “This type of agreement gives a student a clear pathway for their degree, and sets clearly the expectations in order to move forward. I would like to thank the University for working with us diligently to make this happen.”

“This agreement expands on our long-standing collaboration to establish and enhance educational pathways that prepare students for success in a rapidly changing economy,” said Dr. Mohammed Khayum, USI Provost.

Qualifying students will be able to transfer in to USI with no less than 60 credit hours, in junior status, toward their bachelor’s degree.

Programs covered by the Guaranteed Admission Agreement include:

In order to qualify for Guaranteed Admission most programs listed require the student to have a 2.5 cumulative GPA at Ivy Tech, with exceptions of higher GPA requirements for certain majors.

Ivy Tech Community College has developed several guaranteed admission partnerships with colleges and universities in Indiana including Purdue, Purdue Global, Ball State, WGU, Indiana State, IUPUI, and more. Read more at www.ivytech.edu/guaranteedadmissions or call the Admissions Department at 812-429-1435.

Ivy Tech, USI Develop Guaranteed Admission Agreement for Many Programs

Ivy Tech Evansville Adjunct Faculty Member Doug Sprick Wins Award for Excellence in Instruction

Doug Sprick

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Doug Sprick, adjunct faculty member in the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Applied Science at Ivy Tech Community College Evansville, has been honored with  Ivy Tech’s Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. Sprick’s students nominated him for the award.

“We are very fortunate at Ivy Tech Evansville to have faculty with the background, experience and passion for teaching that Doug brings to our campus,” said Ivy Tech Chancellor Daniela Vidal. “This is a testament to the passion for our mission of changing lives of students.”

Sprick has been an instructor in technical laboratory classes at Ivy Tech since 2017 including: Hydraulics, Mechanical, and Mechatronics on the Evansville campus, as well as the Princeton and Tell City Career & Technology Centers. He has also taught non-credit classes for Ivy Tech on site at Alcoa.

His grading centers around his belief that students exhibit effort in their work, showcased by attendance at class, timeliness of getting to class and submitting homework, as well as preparedness and attitude. “That said, I give lenience…and accommodate a student’s needs, whenever possible.” Sprick said. “Most of my students are working full time. A vast majority are full-time employed with families.”

He said he knows what it is like to work and earn a degree, citing what he did during his time with General Motors. “I earned my Master’s degree at night school over a period of four years and I know how much effort it takes to balance work, home, and school. It is not easy.” However he said he expects effort to take place and the work to be completed.

“I want students to learn something they did not know when they started the course or help them understand an old concept better. In many cases, the students already have experience in the field and the class is more of a stepping stone to a certificate or a degree.” 

Ever the innovator, Sprick strives to try something new in each course each semester. “I have always believed in continuous improvement and continue to look at a class in the same way. Do something new. Experiment. Many attempts fail but can lead to something even better.”

He comes early and stays late to help students, as needed, he said.

Prior to Ivy Tech, Sprick was a product development engineer at then Rexam (now Berry Global, Inc.) from 1992 to 2017. He developed and commercialized new consumer closure systems for consumer packaging like child resistant safety packaging for cleaning, agricultural and personal care.

He completed more than 32 different production projects while at Berry, including molds and assembly machines, starting with part design through project launch. Many of these programs were in excess of $1 million in annual sales. Sprick also holds more than a dozen utility patents in packaging.

Prior to Berry, he was employed as a senior product manufacturing engineer and product engineer at Sundstrand Aerospace in Rockford, Ill., a manufacturing engineer at Warner Electric, Motion Control Systems Division, in Marengo, Ill. and as a manufacturing engineer, tool shop supervisor, and development supervisor engineer for General Motors Corp, AC Spark Plug Division, in Flint, Mich.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois; and a Master of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University.

Sprick was one of 18 Ivy Tech adjunct faculty members from across the state to receive the 10th annual Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. One individual of the group annually is chosen for the Gerald I Lamkin Award, named after a former Ivy Tech President, recognizing the adjunct faculty member who exhibits excellence in instruction and represents the mission of the College. Kirsten Carlson of the Ivy Tech Madison Campus won this year’s Gerald I. Lamkin Award.

Ivy Tech Evansville Adjunct Faculty Member Doug Sprick Wins Award for Excellence in Instruction

Ivy Tech Community College Selects Program Director for the New IMPACCT Ivy Scholars Program

Marcus Weatherford
IMPACCT Ivy Scholars Program Director

EVANSVILLE, IN – Ivy Tech Community College has named Marcus Weatherford as the IMPACCT Ivy Scholars Program Director for the newly instituted Integrated Mentoring Program Achieving College and Career Transformation (IMPACCT). Weatherford comes to Ivy Tech from the Owensboro YMCA, where he served as senior program director.

IMPACCT Ivy Scholars is a new program within the College which will serve to provide direct support to help individuals between 18-25 years of age who may have experienced trauma, identify as disabled, identify as a minority student of color and/or as a single parent.

Weatherford’s position will support these students’ educational dreams into a realistic career, making a better life for themselves, their future and their family or future family. The program offers financial support to students through donor funding. This funding is determined based on student eligibility and program participation.

Hallmarks of the new program include:
Individualized guidance, coaching, and tutoring Weatherford will develop students’ academic pathways aligned to their career interest. Students will be accountable to utilize the academic tutoring center and peer tutors.

Service Learning The best way to learn is to teach. Students will be required to engage in an on-campus or off-campus activity that supports bettering the community. This could include presenting to classes or organizations about the IMPACCT Ivy Scholars Program.

Monthly Advising & Student Meetings Students will be required to meet with Weatherford monthly (this could include check-ins via phone, email or face to face) and attend one IMPACCT Ivy Re-Vamp session. This session focuses on life skills, teaching empowerment and belonging.

This is a group session where students are accountable to themselves and their peers in the program.

Mentors Students will be mentored either formally or informally by peers or a person in the field of their career interest. Mentors will be critical to retention by connection. Students who feel connected and that have someone they can share concerns or successes with, have higher persistence rates than those that do not.

Weatherford holds a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University. He earned a bachelor of science in marketing from Ball State University.

Weatherford has served in a variety of different roles in his professional career. His roles have included business manager for Regency Properties, upward bound director and financial aid counselor for Vincennes University, device specialist for Flextronics Retail Technical Services, collections representative for Card Management Corporation, and insurance agent for Bankers Life and Casualty.

Weatherford resides on the northside of Evansville with his wife, Cassie, and their two children.

Ivy Tech Community College Selects Program Director for the New IMPACCT Ivy Scholars Program

Ivy Tech Community College Hosting Virtual College 101

college 101

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College will host a Virtual College 101 event Thursday, November 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the event, participants will learn more about what Ivy Tech offers, including numerous associate degree and short-term certificate programs, as well as transfer options.

Interested participants must RSVP. During the appointment, participants will learn about programs in areas where employers are hiring such as Healthcare, IT, Supply Chain, Business and Advanced Manufacturing as well as transfer options such as Transfer as a Junior and Guaranteed Admissions.

Ivy Tech offers a high value education at the lowest cost Indiana, with scholarships and financial aid available. Whether prospective students are interested in learning more about a certificate to join the workforce quickly, an associate degree or credits that easily transfer to four-year universities, education is within their reach. Ivy Tech students can find support through tutoring, advising and additional support services.

For more information or to RSVP, visit http://www.ivytech.edu/college101

Ivy Tech Community College Hosting Virtual College 101

Getting to Know the New Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Daniela Vidal

Daniela Vidal, Chancellor
Photo by Daniel Knight, Studio B Photography

EVANSVILLE, IN –Imagine a week before you start a new career leading an institution, you are informed that it is highly likely that the institution, along with most other businesses and organizations in the community, would be quarantining as the world combats a pandemic.

That was the scenario under which Daniela Vidal, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Evansville joined the institution. She attended planning meetings a week prior to her start, and her first week as the college’s leader in mid-March, she and her staff helped the institution pivot from mostly in-person classes to all virtual and online classes. Everyone left the building March 20 at 5 p.m. and from then until June, everything was done from home.

Daniela took it in stride. “It definitely gave me the best story to tell for years to come!” she laughed. “I was on TV on day 2 as part of a press conference with the mayor and the leaders of all the educational institutions and that became my instant introduction to our community as the new chancellor. I was immediately grateful for having an amazing team that carried me through the chaos, as I really didn’t know what I didn’t know.

“I think what I brought to the table was a sense of calm and process-driven mindset to ensure we were addressing each challenge in a methodical way,” she said. On the downside, she never had an opportunity to really meet students, faculty and staff – so had to be much more deliberate in Zoom meetings. “It was not ideal, but at the same time, it was much more efficient and I was able to do a lot more in less time,” said this process-oriented leader.

Daniela is grateful for being given the opportunity to join the other campus chancellors in the state to lead Ivy Tech Community College Evansville. “One of the biggest unexpected perks I have discovered in this role is having 17 other peer chancellors to lean on and teach me the ropes. I believe because of COVID we have become a very close-knit group.”

Daniela came to Ivy Tech from Vidal Plastics after having left the University of Southern Indiana, where she started in 2008 to lead their new Technology programs in the Engineering Department. During her 10-year tenure at USI, Daniela continued to advance in her career, eventually becoming Director of Opportunity Development in the Division of Outreach & Engagement.

She learned of the opening at Ivy Tech from President Sue Ellspermann and never looked back. “Over the 22 years Alfonso and I have been a part of the Evansville community, we have been connected to Ivy Tech in different ways through HOLA, the Regional Advisory Council, and different economic development initiatives, and I have always felt a great admiration for the mission and the quality of the institution,” she said. “Then in December, I was approached and asked to consider this opportunity. I had just made the move to join Alfonso at Vidal Plastics to assist in the business expansion and was not thinking about taking another job, but the opportunity was too good to pass up. 

“I am very passionate about this community and being in this role, especially as the first Latina,” Daniela said. “This is an incredible avenue to continue to work toward achieving the great potential of this region.”

Daniela’s Evansville history began after she graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree from Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela. She started her career in Procter & Gamble’s Latin American Research & Development (R&D) headquarters. In 1998. She arrived in Evansville soon after marrying her husband, Alfonso.

Initially, they had plans to go back after he finished his Engineering degree at the University of Evansville and Daniela completed an MBA at the University of Southern Indiana. However, when Chavez won the election in 1999 it became evident to them that a prosperous future in Venezuela would be elusive and decided to make Evansville their permanent home.

Daniela started her career in Evansville working in R&D for Mead Johnson Nutritionals. In 2001 she made a career change to work as a manufacturing engineer at GE Plastics in Mt Vernon. Over a period of seven years, her career grew from process engineer in the Valox finishing plant to Mt Vernon Site Lean Leader, developing many of the Lean strategies for the Plastics business.  

“When I prepared for my public forum at Ivy Tech, I was asked to present a vision for the first 100 days. In this vision, I used the word that has always best embodied what Ivy Tech represents – a beacon of HOPE,” she said. “I will build from the strong foundation to ensure we can continue bringing HOPE to many that didn’t think college was for them.

“I laid out a vision where we would reach out to our Hidden communities, those in the fringes and disenfranchised, and change their life trajectory as we build a productive workforce that is locally grown.

“I plan on bringing to life different initiatives to ensure we are One community, truly intertwined into one fabric. TheP in HOPE is for Prosperity. I believe Ivy Tech can be a key vehicle to enable individual and regional prosperity across our 10-county service area. And finally, it is my goal to Enable our teams locally to drive innovation in our programs and services, while leveraging statewide resources and networks so that we can truly advance our students, employees and suppliers of all backgrounds.”

Getting to Know the New Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Daniela Vidal

Ivy Tech Community College Selects Career Coaching and Employer Connections Executive Director

Vic Chamness

EVANSVILLE, IN – Ivy Tech Community College has named Vic Chamness as its new Career Coaching and Employer Connections Executive Director. Chamness comes to Ivy Tech from the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, where he most recently served as director of science and health.

The office of Career Coaching and Employer Connections (CCEC) is a new initiative within the College, that creates a cohesive model for student and employer engagement. It will emphasize career readiness practices alongside preparation throughout a student’s college experience.

Chamness holds a Master’s degree in secondary education and an award of academic excellence from the University of Southern Indiana. He earned his secondary administration and supervision and principal’s license from Oakland City University. He also received his Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) and superintendent’s license from Indiana State University as well as a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from Oakland City University.

Chamness has used his background in education and training with many organizations and businesses throughout his career. He has served as an adjunct instructor at Ivy Tech, the University of Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana, and Oakland City University. He has been coordinator of the technology training program at SABIC Innovative Plastics in Mount Vernon, and also previously served as director of the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing for Vincennes University. He has held numerous roles with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation over the span of more than thirty years, including department head and science teacher at Reitz High School, director of STEM education, assistant principal-program at Harrison High School and most recently director of science and health.

Chamness has served on many boards and committees. He currently is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Science Teachers Association, the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc., the Association of Science Materials Centers, the American Chemical Society, and Indiana Computer Educators.

Chamness resides on the westside of Evansville with his wife, Sandy. They have three grown children; Laura, Jason, and Emily.

Ivy Tech Community College Selects Career Coaching and Employer Connections Executive Director

Spring Classes to Continue with Much Flexibility

Ivy Tech Community College has confirmed it will offer Spring 2021 semester classes starting in January in a wide variety of formats to be safe and flexible for students.

Enrollment for a second fall start at Ivy Tech on Oct. 26 is continuing at this time; and enrollment for spring classes that start Jan. 19 is also now open.  

Classes will be offered in-person, as well as virtual, online, and in blended formats. The College will also continue to expand its “Learn Anywhere” model that was launched as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who enroll in a “Learn Anywhere” course choose between in-person, virtual, and online learning for each class session based on their needs at that time.

“Ivy Tech is committed to offering flexibility so our students take that next step to prepare for a high-wage, high-value career,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “We continue to carefully balance our plan to have a focus on safety and flexibility. Our team continually monitors the recommendations provided by the state of Indiana and federal guidelines. Ultimately, our students’ success is the goal, while providing them the safest, most accommodating learning environment.”

Ivy Tech Evansville Chancellor Daniela Vidal explained that there are 8-week and 16-week course offerings. “The flexibility and the different course lengths make Ivy Tech classes ideal for not only traditional aged students, but also for employed Hoosiers looking for new skills, and for students at other colleges. These students, for whatever reason, might want to get ahead as a guest student; or transfer to begin closer to home in January.”

Spring Break will take place March 14-21. On March 22, the second start of the spring semester will begin, giving students multiple opportunities to enroll and optimize their class schedule. All courses conclude on May 15.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges around every corner the continued commitment and innovation of our faculty and staff has allowed us to rethink how we deliver higher education,” Ivy Tech Provost Kara Monroe said. “Ivy Tech’s history of high-quality online learning and educational technology combined with faculty and staff dedicated to student success for adult learners leading busy lives have allowed the College to convert quickly to learning formats that allow the student to prioritize learning and personal safety.”

Ivy Tech is taking all of the necessary steps to ensure a deep cleaning of all buildings takes place regularly. Preventive protocols to reduce risk of transmission will also be implemented across campuses.

“Ivy Tech recognizes many families continue to experience uncertainty about what the residential college experience may be for students. I certainly encourage all students to continue on their educational journey, regardless of the college or university they attend. Instead of considering a break or a delay in starting, students should consider the community college,” Ellspermann said. “Ivy Tech’s affordable tuition, guaranteed transfer to Indiana four-year partners, and personalized instruction make the community college the perfect place to take classes. Transfer is one of the important roles the community college plays to serve Indiana’s thousands of bachelor degree seeking students.”

Spring Classes to Continue with Much Flexibility

Earned Skills Will Jump Start Our Community’s Economy

By Daniela Vidal, Chancellor, Ivy Tech Evansville

You see it every day in the news; or you are hearing it from your children at residential campuses across the nation – the four-year college experience this year is not what it once was. Getting together after class for a study session or a coffee; walking down the dorm halls where doors are open and dropping in on your neighbors; social events and sporting events – all are largely gone. Many, if not most classes, are meeting virtually. The classroom has largely become the student’s dorm room or apartment.

I understand it. We do what we need to do to keep everyone safe. I became chancellor a week before our Ivy Tech Community College campus went home to quarantine in March. My first foray into leading a college was helping it pivot every spring class into a virtual realm.

Those safety precautions taken early, and continuing in even greater detail today – are what are allowing Ivy Tech to have classes in-person, blended virtual/in-person and with maximum flexibility, the Learn Anywhere model. We need our colleges and universities to stay safe and open, because our economy needs our graduates!

As our community faces a rapid shift in employment opportunities and resources become more scarce, it presents a double conundrum to those in need…new high-wage jobs require the acquisition of higher-level skills but many don’t currently have the resources to be able to afford the education to obtain those skills. 

This is why Ivy Tech is a great answer to how we give individuals the skills they need quickly, and affordably, and get them into the workforce to jumpstart our economy. Our certificates, technical certificates and associate degrees make Ivy Tech a great option as students navigate their educational experience under COVID; and our flexibility with class delivery is making this a reality.

We also now offer a majority of our courses in an eight-week term. Not only do students complete faster, new students can start every eight weeks. Our next term begins October 26. 

It also begs us to ask the question of how our colleges and universities can serve our communities better. Now, more than ever, we need to find collaborative models among educational institutions, employers and government entities to make changes that will accelerate the learning curve and increase affordability. Watch for an exciting local announcement about this soon!

We have also been blessed to be able to offer a wide variety of courses where qualifying individuals can earn a certificate or technical certificate at no cost, through the Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant. And, we also have opportunities for students attending other colleges, to be a guest student here and earn credits to transfer to their home institution.

Employers are seeking skilled workers and there are tremendous career opportunities available now. Within every great challenge are even greater opportunities, and Ivy Tech can help our employers get the skilled staff they need.

Interested individuals don’t need to wait. Starting at Ivy Tech in October is the first step toward a brighter future.

Earned Skills Will Jump Start Our Community’s Economy