For Pilot, Ivy Tech is a Family Affair

In lieu of traditional schooling, Captain Doug Snowball and his wife, Karla, have homeschooled six of their nine children at one point in time or another. From there, most of them have gone directly into the Ivy Tech dual credit program for their high school education.

“We have used Ivy Tech successfully for high school and college transition,” Doug said. Their older children have all gone on to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Five of Doug and Karla’s children attended Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast. Their nine children range in age from 33 down to 11. From oldest to youngest they are Kelly, Kari, Bob, Joe, Kevin, Katherine, John, Nick and Max.

Nick, the second youngest at age 16, just completed his first semester at Ivy Tech in the General Education Program. To him, the non-traditional path is a good one because it puts him ahead of the game.

“I think, in a way, it lets me get a good jumpstart on things, and it allows me to get more credits than I would in high school,” Nick said. “I also get to enter college at a young age and see what it’s like.”

According to his father, Nick finished the semester with straight A’s and was at the head of his class.

Doug came in contact with Ivy Tech when he began serving on the Aviation Maintenance Technology Advisory Board. He has been a captain for Delta Airlines for 25 years on international flights. Through his job, Doug has traveled to six continents and more than 35 countries, several of which he has been to with his family.

“I have tried to take my children for cultural experiences, as well as for vacation,” Doug said, adding, “Aruba was pretty fun.” Nick agreed but said his favorite trip was Dubai. Doug’s influence has not been lost on his children. Two of his sons are pilots, one is an aircraft mechanic and three are enlisted in the Air National Guard.

Nick plans to continue at Ivy Tech and then transfer to complete his bachelor’s degree. Unlike his brothers, he plans to pursue the medical field.

“I’m following in my mom’s footsteps,” Nick said. “She’s a nurse, and my sisters are nurses.”

Doug said he and his wife encourage their children to go to Ivy Tech because it has proven to be a great path to success in their eyes.

“Ivy Tech is a form of validation for us as parents, and it’s a good start for our children to obtain a college education.”

Doug said he anticipates their youngest son, Max, will also attend Ivy Tech when he’s old enough. However, the Ivy Tech legacy may not stop there, as Doug and Karla are now the proud grandparents to 14. When asked whether their grandchildren would attend Ivy Tech, too, Doug chuckled.

“Probably,” he said. “I’ll leave that up to their parents.”