Approximately 80% of students who graduate from Ivy Tech Community College’s School of Health Sciences have no zero debt. 

To make graduation time even sweeter for health sciences students, there are a plethora of job openings. So much so that many institutions are offering sign-on bonuses. 

“The healthcare industry is one of the most in-demand industries in the nation,” Dr. Erika Di Porto, the dean of the School of Health Sciences, said. “When our students achieve their degree or certificate, they are ready to go straight into the workforce where there are plenty of career opportunities, and some students are even receiving hefty sign-on bonuses.”

“How many degrees can boast a sign-on bonus? Some of our students are getting $10,000 to $15,000 in sign-on bonuses.”

One such recent surgical technology graduate who received a significant sign-on bonus is Kristine Koehler, who accepted a $20,000 sign-on bonus directly after graduating from Ivy Tech Indianapolis in May 2023. 

Overall employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow much faster than average from 2022 to 2032, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average, about 1.8 million openings are projected each year in these occupations due to employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupations permanently.

“I feel like we're a best-kept secret sometimes,” Dr. Di Porto said. “People will go to a four-year institution and spend a lot more money and a lot more time when they could come to Ivy Tech. All because they just don't know that we offer these types of certificates and degrees,” she continued. “I wish it was more well-known just how much our School of Health Sciences has to offer.”

Dr. Di Porto and her team are working to inform more Hoosiers of Ivy Tech’s “generationally transformative” degree paths, as Di Porto describes them, and believes two new exciting programs will provide current and potential students with great opportunities. 

Beginning this summer, the Indianapolis campus will be one of six campuses spearheading a first-of-its-kind summer program for high school students to earn college credits within the healthcare sciences. “Ivy Tech Healthcare Academy Powered by United Healthcare” will allow high school students to try this degree path while earning college credit before committing to a program. While on summer break, these students will earn college credits in courses like:

  • Success in Healthcare 
  • CPR & Basic Life Support
  • Customer Relations in Healthcare

The program will also allow students to participate in a variety of health-related experiences, including:

  • Simulation and lab demonstrations
  • Anatomage table demonstrations
  • Job shadowing
  • Field trips
  • Guest speakers

If you would like more information, you can email Dr. Terri Fleming, the department chair for Health Care Specialists, at

The School of Health Sciences is also excited to announce the “Surgical Technologist Workforce Pipeline Program” for our surgical technology students. Ivy Tech Indianapolis is partnering with Community Health Network for this first-of-its-kind program that will meet the learning and financial needs of student employees while training to become certified surgical technologists.

Students in the Surgical Technologist workforce program will begin employment as a paid surgical services support technician, gain clinical experiences, engage with clinical preceptors, and receive financial support through stipends. 

“We are very excited about this partnership with Community Health Network that will ensure our surgical technology graduates gain and successfully maintain employment following graduation in entry-level positions,” Dr. Di Porto said. 

The School of Health Sciences at the Indianapolis campus offers degrees and certifications in medical assisting, medical coding, certified nursing aid, pharmacy technician, healthcare specialist, therapeutic massage, phlebotomy technician, surgical technology, respiratory therapy, medical imaging, paramedic science, and EMT. Learn more about the School of Health Sciences

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.