Wabash City Schools Board and Ivy Tech Community College Regional and State Board of Trustees have approved a community partnership between the two educational organizations. After planning meetings to discuss a future vision of educational offerings in the Wabash community—along with local, regional, and state board approvals from both educational institutions—it has been agreed upon and approved to enter a mutually beneficial arrangement in which the Ivy Tech Wabash Site will be donated from Ivy Tech Community College to Wabash City Schools.
The partnership with Wabash City Schools will ensure that Ivy Tech Community College will continue to provide classes at the Thorne Street property. “Ivy Tech Community College is committed to providing access to higher education opportunities to the residents of Wabash County and the surrounding communities,” says Ivy Tech Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier. “Wabash City Schools has been a leader in the early college design and dual credit offerings in the region. We are confident this partnership will help increase the Ivy Tech mission of providing accessible and affordable higher education in supporting Wabash’s mission of ensuring every student is college- and career-ready.”
Wabash Superintendent Jason Callahan agrees with Jerrilee Mosier’s optimistic outlook. “Wabash City Schools is excited about this opportunity to partner with Ivy Tech Community College to further its mission of increasing educational attainment in the greater Wabash community,” says Callahan. “We believe this will help us achieve a clearer path between K-14 and career pathways. We are equally as excited about the opportunity to continue to work with area industry to advance career advancement through adult education opportunities.”
The next steps of the K-14 partnership will be working to hire a shared position after long-time Ivy Tech Wabash Site Director Pam Guthrie retired at the end of March. The schools will work together to prepare fall course offerings and to build career pathways. “Ivy Tech has played a key role in providing affordable higher education and helping support the local workforce development,” says Callahan. “We are excited about continuing this mission.”
The Wabash Site facility, a former elementary school, was constructed in 1952 and was acquired by Ivy Tech Community College from the Wabash City School Corporation in 1995 for use as part of the Ivy Tech Kokomo service area.
Ivy Tech Fort Wayne will continue to offer courses in Wabash County with a reduced footprint in the former Ivy Tech Wabash Site on Thorne Street and/or Wabash High School. No facility lease expense will be incurred by Ivy Tech, and budgetary savings will be realized from a reduction in site administration costs, maintenance costs, and utilities. This partnership allows Ivy Tech to reduce its spatial footprint while at the same time providing needed space to the Wabash City School Corporation for future planning. Ivy Tech’s Strategic Plan (Strategy 6.2) includes a desire to reduce the College spatial footprint by one-million square feet, and this contributes to that direction while maintaining a higher education presence in the community.