EVANSVILLE, IN- Ivy Tech Community College Evansville Campus will confer degrees upon more than 1,700 individuals graduating Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m. at the Ford Center in Evansville. A total of nearly 2,600 Certificates, Technical Certificates, Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degrees will be awarded. Approximately 400 students will take part in the ceremony on Friday. The public is encouraged to attend the free event. No tickets are required.
Derrick Stewart, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, will be the guest speaker at Ivy Tech’s Commencement. Stewart, formerly a six-year member of the Evansville Campus Board of Trustees, was also the CEO of the local YMCA for 10 years. Under his leadership, the Y experienced significant growth in core programs and philanthropic support, launched new initiatives, expanded and improved facilities, and positioned itself as an influential voice in the non-profit community. Also speaking during the ceremony will be Evansville Campus Chancellor Jonathan Weinzapfel; Kara Monroe, Ivy Tech provost and senior vice president; and Newburgh resident and ASAP student Gina Nalley. Amanda Crowe, vice president of Human Resources at the Evansville Rescue Mission and 2008 Ivy Tech graduate, will be honored as Distinguished Alumna.
Among the more than 1,700 students graduating are 54 working adults who benefited from the Achieve Your Degree program. “With the skills and knowledge they have gained, these individuals will be better able to perform their work responsibilities and have a stronger foundation for future professional success,” said Chancellor Jonathan Weinzapfel. There are also 670 students who will be earning their Associate of Applied Science degree through Ivy Tech’s Apprenticeship Programs, Weinzapfel added. This is an earn-and-learn model combining on the job training with related classroom instruction that increases an apprentice’s skill level and wages.
There will also be 90 high school students who receive their college degree or credential – even before graduating from high school. These students currently attend the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation’s Early College High School, housed at Ivy Tech; Harwood Career Preparatory High School, Perry County High School and Tell City High School. Weinzapfel explained that the students are able to earn these degrees by combining dual credit offered through Ivy Tech with dual enrollment courses. Ten of the Early College students are earning two associate degrees. They will use Ivy Tech’s Transfer as a Junior Program to begin their baccalaureate studies as a junior at one of Ivy Tech’s partner colleges.
“We believe that every high school student should and can earn a post-secondary credential before graduating from high school,” Weinzapfel added. “Education must be viewed as a continuum. We have changed that mindset for working adults through the Achieve Your Degree program. We can and must do the same for all high school students.” Ivy Tech is working with area business and industry to establish the resources needed.
This year, 31% of Ivy Tech’s graduating class is completing with a GPA of 3.5 or higher – and 21% are graduating Summa Cum Laude – 4.0.