EVANSVILLE, INDIANA — The beginning of a new school year always comes with questions, for for a group of students now without a school, their questions have a little more urgency.
“These students are calling us, telling us their stories, telling us they don’t know what they’re going to do,” Deanna King, the vice chancellor of academic affairs, said. “‘What can I do?’ That’s what they’re saying – ‘What can I do?'”
ITT Tech shut down all of its school a week ago, including the Newburgh-Evansville campus, leaving students wondering what their future has in store.
“It has to be frustrating for them,” Ivy Tech Chancellor Jonathan Weinzapfel said.
“All of a sudden, they’ve had a door slammed on them,” King said. “And so they’re very worried about, ‘What am I going to do now and what’s going to happen to me?'”
“It’s tragic. It’s traumatic for the students at ITT,” Weinzapfel said. “They’ve invested time, money.”
Now, local schools, including Ivy Tech, have been reaching out trying to help these students.
“Our first challenge is figuring how can we reach these students,” Weinzapfel said. “How do we reach out to them and let them know that we’re here and that we’re willing to work with them?”
Weinzapfel said it isn’t as simple as just transferring the credits over. Per the accreditation guidelines through the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, ITT Tech credits cannot be transferred directly to Ivy Tech.
“We really don’t want them to have wasted their time and money,” King said. “We really want them to be able to keep going.”
Students do have other ways to earn credit. Students may qualify through Prior Learning Assessment pathways, which looks at prior classes taken and how ITT’s curriculum matches up with Ivy Tech’s courseload. Students can also be awarded credits through national accreditation programs or certifications than can be transferred to coursework completed.
“We think we can be helpful but it’s on a case-by-case basis for each individual student,” Weinzapfel said.
For Ivy Tech, this is a way of serving their community, following their mission of providing education for everyone.
“This is about helping those students at ITT finally accomplish the goals they had set when they initially enrolled there,” Weinzapfel said.
Ivy Tech is holding an information open house on September 19 from 3 to 6 p.m. The event will be for ITT Tech students interested in continuing their education at Ivy Tech. It will be held at the Evansville Campus on 3501 N. First Ave. in Room 107.