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Ivy Tech Muncie campus gets $1 million gift

Statement as issued Wednesday by Ivy Tech Community College:

Ivy Tech Community College’s launched its first major Capital Campaign for the Muncie Campus Wednesday with the announcement of a $1 million gift from the George & Frances Ball Foundation. The gift of $200,000 a year for five years was announced by Norman Beck, executive director of the George & Frances Ball Foundation, at the Campaign Kick Off at the downtown Fisher Campus.

“The George and Frances Ball Foundation is both pleased and excited to be part of an effort to support the continued development of Ivy Tech Community College in this community,” said Mr. Beck. “The economic future of Muncie will be greatly enhanced because of the educational programs and opportunities offered by that institution.”

This major gift will fund Ivy Tech’s Associate Faculty Development Institute (AFDI), a program that provides the structure and incentives for professional development of adjunct faculty that results in quality instructors and increased success for students in the form of degree completion and learning outcomes. AFDI also is a way of recognizing and rewarding adjunct faculty who commit to the goals of Ivy Tech.

“This major gift from the George & Frances Ball Foundation is a wonderful way to start our $1.5 million Community Capital Campaign to support Ivy Tech in its role as an engine for workforce and economic development in Muncie and Delaware County,” said campaign chair Ron Fauquher. “For our community to thrive, we must attract new business, meet the needs of our current workforce and be able to offer educational and training opportunities to prospective students in our community. Ivy Tech has been charged with that responsibility. However, state funding is not sufficient to provide the technology, equipment and renovation required for Ivy Tech to catch up with its unprecedented growth nor provide the stimulus for new programs and services. Now we are turning to our community to help Ivy Tech realize its full potential as our community college.”

Ivy Tech has been in a “behind-the-scenes” phase of fund-raising for the past year, according to Gail Chesterfield, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s East Central Region. “To date, we have raised $5.3 million of our $6.8 million goal. This is includes the very wonderful gift of the Fisher Building by the late John & Janice Fisher valued at $3.3 million. We are very encouraged by and grateful for the support we have received from businesses, organizations and individuals who recognize the valuable role Ivy Tech plays in changing lives and helping the community prosper.”

The ADFI will provide professional development opportunities for adjunct faculty as well as recognize and reward them for bettering their skills in order to provide the best possible student experience, said Chancellor Chesterfield. “Adjunct or part-time faculty teach the majority of classes offered at Ivy Tech Muncie, and, thus, have more impact on students than any other group at the College. However, due to the nature of their work, these valued instructors have the least amount of knowledge about the College and its strategic initiatives. To increase student completions and learning outcomes, greater adjunct connectedness and development is of the highest priority.”

In the Institute, part-time faculty receive the designation of Associate Faculty and additional compensation for completing a set number of faculty development hours, including qualifying seminars, workshops or courses in their field of instruction, within a specified time frame. Renewal status is not automatic. To retain certification, faculty must commit to professional development activities annually.

“The ADFI has been in place for less than a year and we already have one faculty who has completed the program and earned associate faculty status,” said Chancellor Chesterfield.

The Muncie campus is one of 24 in the Ivy Tech statewide system and serves the Delaware, Henry and Randolph County communities. Ivy Tech Muncie has three instructional sites: 4301 S. Cowan Road, the historic Patterson Building at 108 S. Walnut St., and the Fisher campus at 345 S. High St. It also has a strong presence in Henry County, providing classes in New Castle at the Danielson Learning Center and other sites in Henry County.

With an enrollment of more than 5,000 students, Ivy Tech Muncie is second only to the four-year institution, Ball State University, as a provider of access to post-secondary education in its service region. The college is also the largest provider of higher education to “non-traditional” students seeking to upgrade their skills to stay current in a rapidly changing economy.

The college offers programs and courses of instruction through the associate degree and technical certificate, ensuring that all individuals have life-long opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills, and values. A tremendous benefit of a community college, such as Ivy Tech, is the advantage students have of beginning their college education while remaining in their respective home communities. Transfer from Ivy Tech to senior institutions save students, parents, and taxpayers money.

The economic impact of Ivy Tech is tremendous. More than 90 percent of Ivy Tech students and graduates live and work in the community contributing greatly to the economic development, workforce development, and quality of life in our community. However, the loss of Muncie and Delaware County’s manufacturing base over the past few years, resulting in the loss of jobs, an increase in unemployment, a decrease in wages, a decrease in population, and an increase in food stamps and other government assistance, has not only impacted the community’s growth but has affected the success and prosperity of those who live here.

“Ivy Tech Community College is poised to help,” said Chesterfield. “The College’s mission is to provide opportunities for education and training that move people from unemployment to jobs. Ivy Tech is focused to provide the education and skills that translate into employable positions.”

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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