Princeton, IN–Ivy Tech Community College and Gibson County Schools announced their College Connection Coach program for Gibson County today.
The College Connection Coach program is a partnership between Ivy Tech Community College and local high schools, and is the first of its kind in Indiana. It is designed to create and promote a culture of college attainment, by having Ivy Tech employees provide high school students with career coaching and academic advisement, said Ivy Tech Chancellor Jonathan Weinzapfel. Coaches work with hundreds of high school students to explore their interests and career opportunities and map out academic plans. In particular, coaches work with students who have not expressed postsecondary goals and students who have completed dual credit courses (where a high school course counts for both high school credit and college credit). There is no charge to schools or students who use the College Connection Coach services.
Weinzapfel said the College Connection Coach program is unique to the Ivy Tech System in Indiana, and first started with a coach at Central High School in Evansville. “The program now partners with 18 school corporations in the Ivy Tech Southwest (Evansville) and Wabash Valley (Terre Haute) Regions. The program currently has 11 coaches placed in 29 high schools with a planned expansion to include a total of 34 high schools,” Weinzapfel said.
Cassie Scraper has been appointed as the College Connection Coach for Gibson County. She will serve the county’s three high schools. Scraper will work hand-in-hand with school guidance counselors, administrators, and teachers. In addition, she will provide career counseling and map out career and educational pathways to help students earn college credit while still in high school.
Scraper most recently served as director of financial aid for Oakland City University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in both Elementary and Secondary Education from Oakland City University.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana has provided a grant of $25,000 to help underwrite the program. Karen Johnston, assistant manager of external affairs, said “We are very proud to work with Ivy Tech and collaborate on ways that advance educational opportunities in Gibson County.”
“The East Gibson School Corporation is excited about the Ivy Tech Community College and Gibson County Schools new initiative, College and Career Connection Coach, said Dr. Henry M. Brewster, superintendent of East Gibson School Corporation. “The hiring of Cassie Scraper as the College and Career Connection Coach will provide students one-on-one assistance and encouragement toward enrollment in college and persistence toward degree completion. Cassie brings expertise in the transition from high school and college that will bring added support to the students. Wood Memorial High School students will benefit greatly from this joint endeavor.”
“Princeton Community High School would like to express our sincere gratitude to Ivy Tech Community College for our newly appointed College Connection Coach. Cassie is currently helping our students with scholarship applications and financial aid edits. Future plans are that Cassie will work with all students on future graduation plans for success,” said Steve Hauger, principal at Princeton Community High School. “From the first day Cassie arrived she enthusiastically jumped right in and began working with our students. We look forward to the success of this program and the tremendous benefits our students will realize from her expertise!”
Gibson Southern High School Principal Scott Reid said he is looking forward to how Cassie will assist students at the school. “Our South Gibson school community highly values education, as evidenced by the high percentage of Gibson Southern students who move on to post-secondary schools, and we fully embrace this opportunity to add a valuable resource for our students. I also want to make sure we thank Ivy Tech for their partnership and continued support of our area schools and students.”
Ivy Tech Community College has also launched the College Connection Coach initiative in Clay, Greene, Parke, Perry, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo and Warrick counties.