(Talk of the Town photo provided) Above, from left, Mayor Ryan Daniel of Columbia City, Dr. Laura McDermott, superintendent of Whitley County Consolidated Schools and Lisa Smith of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne gather at the Marshall Community Center in Columbia City to announce plans to offer Ivy Tech courses at the location this fall. A memorandum of understanding was signed between Whitley County Consolidated Schools and Ivy Tech Fort Wayne on June 11, 2021.

From reports

Whitley County Consolidated Schools and Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne are pleased to announce a new partnership at the Marshall Community Center (107 N Walnut St., Columbia City, IN 46725) and mark another success in the long-standing partnership between the two institutions. With the launch of the new learning space in the former Eagle Tech Academy, Ivy Tech and Whitley County leaders are deepening their shared commitment to connecting students to Ivy Tech college credit, while still in high school, and beyond.

“Our work together has been focused on developing educational experiences and opportunities that will enhance the wellbeing of Whitley County citizens and provide the business and industry leaders of Whitley County with the workforce they require for growth and development,” said Dr. Jerrilee K. Mosier, chancellor of Ivy Tech Fort Wayne & Warsaw. “We’ve enjoyed a strong partnership over the years through dual credit and State Earn and Learn (SEAL) certifications, so this community learning center represents the next logical step in our collaboration.”

Both Chancellor Mosier and Dr. Laura McDermott, superintendent of Whitley County Consolidated Schools, signed a memorandum of understanding on June 11, 2021.

“Whitley County Consolidated Schools is extremely pleased to join with Ivy Tech in providing Whitley County students and community members tremendous opportunities through scholarship dollars and local classes to continue their education and reach their career goals,” said Dr. McDermott.

Columbia City Mayor Ryan Daniel and Executive Director of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation, Dale Buuck, count themselves among the many local supporters of the project, “The idea of having Ivy Tech options closer to our students and workforce is very exciting and beneficial to this community. Anytime you can add additional classes for continuing education, is something we value,” said Buuck.

“We are thrilled to see Ivy Tech’s expansion of higher education into the City of Columbia City,” said Mayor Daniel. “The partnership between Columbia City High School and Ivy Tech will further expand the educational opportunities in our community for students and adults alike.”

Ivy Tech is offering three academic classes in the fall of 2021, along with $10,000 in scholarship dollars for Whitley County Consolidated High School students and $5,000 for Whitley County residents. This comes at an ideal time as Ivy Tech has just launched a new tuition model, Ivy+, in which tuition will be frozen for new students and books will be free for the 2021-22 school year. This makes for the most accessible and affordable higher education option available in Whitley County.

All classes are three credit hour courses and are part of the Indiana College Core, which allow these courses to transfer to all Indiana state colleges and universities as well as many colleges and universities outside of Indiana.

Fall 2021 courses at the Marshall Community Center include:

  • ENGL 111 English Composition on Tuesday evenings from 6–8:50 p.m.
  • COMM 101 Introduction to Public Speaking on Wednesday evenings from 6–8:50 p.m.
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology on Thursday evenings from 6–8:50 p.m.

As part of the Marshall Community Center’s opening, Ivy Tech will host an Express Enrollment event on July 15 from 3–7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public without an appointment.

To learn more about these classes, other Whitley County higher education opportunities, or the July 15 event, contact Lisa Smith at lsmith246@ivytech.edu. Current Whitley County Consolidated High School students can reach out to Claire Baker (Dual Credit Advisor) at cbaker255@ivytech.edu or call/text at 260-255-6605.

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering associate degree and short-term certificate programs, and trainings that align to the needs of the community. The College also offers courses and associate degree programs that seamlessly transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a Bachelor’s degree.