The Herald-Times

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 10:48 am |

College students in Bloomington will now be able to study electrical engineering thanks to a new program at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington.

The community college announced Wednesday that an associate of science in electrical engineering technology and a certified electronics technician certification will be offered in Bloomington starting this fall.

The electrical engineering program is an addition to the engineering technology program already offered at Ivy Tech Bloomington.

Historically, students in this area had to leave Bloomington and go to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue or Indiana State University if they wanted to study engineering, said Kirk Barnes, dean of technology and applied sciences at Ivy Tech Bloomington.

“Now, they can stay in the area and work, or live at home and save money,” he said.

Barnes said the engineering technology program covers both electrical and mechanical engineering for more of a general degree, so the new program will be for students who want to focus on electronics.

Plus, the new degree differs from the current engineering technology degree in only three or four classes, so students can earn both or switch paths, said Jennie Vaughan, chancellor of the Bloomington campus.

About 13 students have expressed interest in electrical engineering, a degree requires calculus, physics and chemistry, so far, Barnes said.

“It’s for a student that’s into that high level math and science,” he said.

The community college also has an agreement with IUPUI so Ivy Tech students can continue there for a bachelor’s degree in either computer engineering technology or electrical engineering technology, Barnes said. He said Ivy Tech Bloomington will base its electrical engineering technology curriculum on the IUPUI program to make transferring seamless.

However, he expects some students to be able to go into entry-level jobs once they earn their associate degree.

The Ivy Tech campuses in Fort Wayne, Anderson, Valparaiso and Terre Haute are also adding electrical engineering for the fall, and the degree was previously offered at Ivy Tech in South Bend and Indianapolis.

Vaughan said companies such as Battery Innovation Center near Crane were asking the Bloomington campus for electrical engineering to be offered, so the timing worked well.

She said the plan is to have the company’s employees can take classes online and do their labs where they work. But any student can earn the degree at the main Ivy Tech Bloomington campus as well.

“It’s a phenomenal program,” Vaughan said.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.