News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

April 4, 2014

IVY-TECH: Two programs hit speed bump

Veterinary, diesel technology must meet accreditation timeline first

TERRE HAUTE — Two much-anticipated academic programs at Ivy Tech-Wabash Valley may not be offered quite as soon as officials had hoped.

While there have been discussions about veterinary technician and diesel technology programs starting as early as this fall, Ivy Tech must first work on staffing and funding issues, said Deanna King, vice chancellor of academic affairs.

For the vet tech program, a veterinarian must be hired and on staff to develop curriculum six months before the program starts, she said. That is for accreditation reasons.

The region hopes to obtain state funding for the position.

The Ivy Tech state board has approved the program, which also requires Commission for Higher Education approval, King said.

Future plans call for the Terre Haute Humane Shelter to locate at the Learning Achievement Building in the Vigo County Industrial Park; a joint Ivy Tech/THHS fundraising campaign is underway.

The facility also would provide educational opportunities for Ivy Tech veterinary health students.

According to King, the vet tech program can begin before the Humane Shelter locates at the industrial park. They can operate together or separately, she said.

“I don’t want to say we won’t offer the [vet tech] program in fall 2014, but I am close to not being able to make that happen,” she said last week. If that does not work out, she hopes it could begin in January.

The diesel technology program has been slowed down as well. The region must raise not only equipment funds, but also construction money to renovate another part of the Learning Achievement Building (or LAB).

A fundraising campaign will have to occur and it first needs state approval. Ivy Tech is not ready to announce the dollar amount for the project.

“Our state office asks that we raise 50 percent of both construction and equipment costs before construction can start,” said Amy Metcalf, Ivy Tech-Terre Haute director of marketing and communications. “We would still be responsible for raising 100 percent of the project.”

In December, the regional board approved  a construction bid of $878,900 to renovate part of the LAB building for the diesel technology program. The state Ivy Tech board, which also must act on the bid, did not approve it.

There was some confusion or a mix-up, King said. “We thought the state would fund construction.”

Because there is a strong demand for diesel mechanics, Ivy Tech-Terre Haute plans to offer a one-year diesel technical certificate — part of the automotive program — starting in the fall, King said. “We want to keep this project moving forward.”

The region must hire an instructor with diesel experience and also would like funding for the position, she said.

Students could earn the technical certificate or go on and earn a two-year degree in automotive with a diesel concentration.

The region hopes to eventually offer a two-year degree in diesel technology.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or

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