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Ivy Tech expects another record enrollment when classes begin Monday morning

By Mike Leonard 331-4368 |
August 20, 2010

Ivy Tech Chancellor John Whikehart expects to welcome another record-breaking fall enrollment Monday when the community college on Bloomington’s west side kicks off another school year.

“We think we’re probably going to have over 6,500 students by Monday and that number can potentially increase during that first week,” Whikehart said. “If there’s a class that starts Tuesday a student can come in and register for that Monday. If the class starts Wednesday or Thursday, same thing.”

The projected 6,500 already is about 300 more students than were enrolled in last year’s record-breaking fall semester.

“We’ve had consistent growth every fall since we moved into this facility in 2002,” the Ivy Tech Bloomington Chancellor said.

Ivy Tech’s enrollment was 2,500 when its current 148,000 sq. ft. building was opened on Daniels Way. The enrollment explosion has required Ivy Tech to lease classroom and lab space in three different locations on Liberty Drive. This fall, the community college will add 19,000 sq. ft. of space in Liberty Crossing, the site of a former MCL cafeteria. The school also will make use of the former cafeteria’s kitchen area for its culinary arts programs.

A $20 million, 85,000 sq. ft. expansion to the existing Ivy Tech building was approved by the Indiana Legislature in 2009 but the bonding authority for construction has not been approved.

Ivy Tech’s opening day tradition will continue Monday with Whikehart greeting students personally as they arrive for opening day classes at 7:30 a.m. He’ll be accompanied by Highland bagpiper Ian Arthur, adding to the festive atmosphere.

In another budding tradition, Ivy Tech will for the second year offer a Welcome Week Music Fest Thursday night. The event will include music by Lindsay Smith and 40% Steve along with food, prizes, a kid’s zone and fireworks.

Other Welcome Week activities include a free continental breakfast Monday morning, a student involvement fair, a movie night and other activities.

Sam DeWeese, assistant vice chancellor of student affairs, says studies demonstrate that the more connected students are with their campus, the better they do academically. “Ivy Tech works to engage and empower students to become independent, critical thinkers in life and in school,” he said in a prepared statement. “We want to offer relevant experiences for all students since we know they have diverse backgrounds and life experiences. Offering relevant and engaging activities are just some of the ways that Ivy Tech makes connections with our students both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Ivy Tech Community College

Copyright: 2010