Ivy Tech, EVSC announce new partnership

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) Students are enjoying summer vacation, but educators are focused on ways to improve their futures.

Ivy Tech Evansville and EVSC are starting a new partnership for students to get college degrees before they finish high school.

It’s called Pathways Plus, and it prepares high school students for jobs in fields including auto technology and information technology. They say the program will help students and companies looking to hire them.

“We see many of these high school students are taking college level courses on a high school level, but they’re not actually completing a degree,” says Chancellor Jonathan Weinzapfel of Ivy Tech Evansville. He says not finishing that college degree can harm a student’s future prospects.

“They may have two or three different courses in automotive or welding, but it’s not a certification or a degree that gives confidence to an employer that this is a person that has the skills necessary to do the job that’s available,” says Weinzapfel.

The Pathways Plus partnership builds on dual credits offered at area schools and combines them with courses at ivy tech. EVSC Superintendent Dr. David Smith says the program can unlock opportunities for students and potential employers, even when cost of courses can be prohibitive to students. The courses are afforded at no extra cost.

“It means unlocking opportunities for kids. We have a lot of students that do take advantage of dual credits and preferred credits, but then paying for those courses are problematic,” he says.

The program is funded by a $500,000 donation from Old National Bank. President and C.O.O. Jim Sandgren says the program can potentially help future generations.

“Our hope is these kids get great experience through college or these technical programs, come back and fill jobs,” says Sandgren.

The program will start at Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center plus some area high schools. Other pathways are in the works for other nearby counties.

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(This story was originally published on July 16, 2019)

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