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Ivy Tech campus breaks enrollment record, again

Spring semester enrollment tops 5,000 at westside campus

By James Boyd 331-4307 |
January 18, 2008

Ivy Tech campus,
by the numbers

639: The number of additional students enrolled on the first day of class in spring 2008 on the Bloomington campus, compared with 2007.

5,000+: The spring 2008 semester marks the second consecutive semester the local campus has more than 5,000 students enrolled.

14%: The increase in the number of students taking full-time equivalent coursework over 2007.

x2: Campus enrollment has nearly doubled since the opening of the Bloomington campus’s new facility in 2002.

$350,000: The amount the Indiana General Assembly allocated in 2007 for architectural and engineering work to plan an addition to the Bloomington campus.

Enrollment for the spring semester at Ivy Tech-Bloomington is at a record level, with the school reporting a double-digit percentage growth so far in 2008.

On the first day of classes this spring, 5,040 students were enrolled on the Bloomington campus, up from 4,505 at this time last year.

The upward enrollment swing on the Bloomington campus mirrors the trend on other Ivy Tech campuses across the state, but the Bloomington campus’s growth is so steep, it has been named the third-fastest growing community college in the country among other schools its size, according to Community College Week.

For Chancellor John Whikehart, it is both good and bad news.

“As we’ve been experiencing semester after semester, we’re now in double-digit growth,” he said Thursday. “That growth exceeds the college’s own expectations and goals for its regional campuses.”

The bad news is that with so many students flocking to the Bloomington campus, the student population has now outgrown the physical infrastructure. The current Ivy Tech facility opened just in 2002, but it already is too small.

“When this building was designed, we anticipated we’d have 5,000 students by 2011,” Whikehart said. “We’re already at those numbers this spring.”

Campus officials are already in the early phases of developing a 115,000-square-foot addition to the current facility off of West Ind. 48 (West Third Street extended), but it could be several years before completion.

“A 115,000-square-foot addition, even if we grow into it quickly, is a requirement at this point,” Whikehart said.

“Absent that project, our challenges will make it extremely difficult to continue.”

Whikehart said the increase in the student population is a sign that Ivy Tech is succeeding in offering a quality, accessible education to a wide array of people.

With many new degree programs and an expanded relationship with Indiana University, the chancellor said, Ivy Tech students have more and better opportunities than ever before.

“Our growth is an indication that we’re fulfilling our mission,” he said.