By JEROD CLAPP
For the first time, Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana University Southeast held a joint open house Wednesday.
Barbara Bichelmeyer, interim chancellor at IU Southeast, said she and administrators at Ivy Tech thought they could better serve students by showing them how the two schools work together to offer more options for higher education in the area.
“I think one reason it’s very important is because is more and more students today are putting together academic programs by choosing courses at various institutions, then bringing them together to receive a degree,” Bichelmeyer said. “If we aren’t talking to each other and working to support students in the way they want to pursue a degree, they may get mixed messages about what courses they need.”
Students were able to learn about the different degrees available at both state institutions from faculty members and administrators on both sides.
Rita Shourds, Ivy Tech chancellor, worked with Bichelmeyer and Uric Dufrene IU Southeast vice chancellor of academic affairs, to see what they could do to help students finish their studies at Ivy Tech or take them further after earning an associate degree.
Bichelmeyer said students can get a start on a career at Ivy Tech, but if they want to move into areas that require higher degrees, they need to know how those credits can transfer to another local institution.
“I think [students] were genuinely very pleased at the event and excited for possibilities,” Bichelmeyer said. “I spoke to one gentleman who is actually doing a program at Ivy Tech right now and would like to become a history teacher. He’d need to further his studies here, so he was really pleased that he could do one-stop-shopping where he could get information from both institutions.”
Students and their advisers can keep track of how their credits will transfer from Ivy Tech to IU Southeast through a number of means, but the Indiana Core Transfer Library helps match up standards from one university to another.
Bichelmeyer said she was pleased with how the event ended up and said it would become at least annual, perhaps once a semester, and alternate from one campus to another.