For additional information about Pathways Plus, go to www.ivytech.edu/PathwaysPlus
Old National Bank Foundation (ONBF) has awarded Ivy Tech Community College a $500,000 grant to be shared across several Indiana communities over five years. ONBF’s intent with this donation is to use the funding for innovative programs that enhance the quality of life within the communities they serve. The announcement was made July 16 at a news conference at Ivy Tech.
Beginning in August, Ivy Tech Evansville, in partnership with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, will roll out Pathways Plus as a way to prepare high school students for high-wage, high-demand careers that exist in our communities by allowing them to complete a college degree by the time they graduate from high school. Pathways Plus builds on the many dual credit courses already offered in the high schools and the Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center by combining them with dual enrollment courses offered at Ivy Tech to intentionally provide career pathways that can lead to a college credential.
Ivy Tech Evansville Chancellor Jonathan Weinzapfel, said, “Pathways Plus provides an intentional college pathway for high school students, plus the opportunity to earn a college certificate, technical certificate or degree; plus the opportunity to prepare skilled employees for the workforce; plus an opportunity to use those credits to continue their college education.”
The initiative will begin with the EVSC’s Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center (which includes students from North and South Gibson, Warrick, Vanderburgh, Posey and the southern half of Spencer counties) and EVSC high schools. Other high school career pathways are being developed in the surrounding counties for potential Spring and Fall 2020 starts.
The Old National Bank Foundation grant will help fund dual enrollment classes taken by high school students that lead to a college completion, as well as additional College Connection Coaches who work closely with students to counsel, guide, and assist them in career exploration and college enrollment. The coaches will also help EVSC increase enrollment of middle school students in the 21st Century Scholars Program – which provides a free college education to those who qualify.
“Old National Bank is focused on developing partnerships with organizations dedicated to leveraging opportunities that serve low- to moderate-income individuals in order to develop our workforce, improve achievement gains and build skills and knowledge,” said Jim Sandgren, President and Chief Operating Officer for Old National Bank. “We are proud to partner with Ivy Tech Community College to strengthen our communities through initiatives with meaningful impact.”
“Ultimately, our vision is that every high school student graduates with a college credential. This will create great career opportunities, help to solve our employers’ shortage of a skilled workforce, and give our young people the opportunity to make a decent living, raise a family and contribute back to our community,” Chancellor Weinzapfel said. “Old National’s grant will also assist Ivy Tech in helping make college affordable for families,” he added.
EVSC Superintendent David Smith said partnerships can provide opportunities for students and the community. “We are excited for another opportunity to collaborate with both the public and private sector to provide even more opportunities for all EVSC students. It is through partnerships like these that help us to continue the OptIN mission to introduce, explore, and prepare EVSC students for all pathways leading to high-wage, high-demand career opportunities that are paired with student interest, abilities, skills and knowledge.”
Additional announcements about future Old National Bank Foundation partnerships with other Ivy Tech campuses are expected in 2020.