July 30 ribbon-cutting officially opens one-stop shop for students
KOKOMO, Ind. — The new Express Enrollment Center at Ivy Tech Community College’s Kokomo Campus will officially open Thursday, July 30, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
More than 9,000 square feet in the campus’ main building at 1815 E. Morgan St. has been extensively renovated over the last six months to create the new center, which brings together a wide range of student services. Guests at the grand-opening event will be able to tour the new facilities, meet faculty, staff and administrators, and enjoy refreshments compliments of the Ivy Tech Foundation.
“The Express Enrollment Center offers a one-stop shop designed to deliver a range of student services in an integrated, seamless way,” said Fran Hardin, a veteran Ivy Tech faculty member and administrator recently named director of the new center.
“The goal is to provide increased access with a focus on the customer – like what you’ll find in an Apple Store,” she continued. “Our ‘customers’ are students and prospective students and campus guests and we want them to get the information and services they need as conveniently and easily as possible.”
The new center, located adjacent to the main entry, creates a more seamless registration area and a “one-stop shop” for student affairs, financial aid, academic advising, career services and the business office. Previously, many of these offices were scattered throughout buildings away from the main campus.
“We are committed to reducing barriers for students by creating a more welcoming and supportive area for both students and guests,” said Kokomo Campus President Michelle Simmons. “With the new facility, we believe we can provide services that are high quality, efficient and effective in an environment that’s bright and inviting – right here in the building where students already gather for class.”
The center serves as home base to Ivy Tech student services professionals who can help students with financial aid, enrollment and admissions; assist in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and help with financial aid verification; and set up payment plans. Other student services now part of the newly renovated space include advising, career services and the registrar.
“With all these offices in one place, we can immediately handle probably 90 percent of the issues on the spot,” Simmons said. “We can reduce wait times and minimize frustration. Our goal is to increase student satisfaction, enrollment and retention. And we know from experiences at other Ivy Tech regions, these co-located services not only lead to less effort on the student’s part but also lead to employees learning more from one another.”
Much of the project has been underwritten by substantial donations from area businesses and individuals interested in helping Ivy Tech meet its mission of educating and training students to improve their lives and the lives of their communities.
“During the open house, we will be unveiling a recognition board in the main entry to acknowledge the generous donors who have helped make possible this renovation as well as additional work that will be rolled out over the next few months ,” said Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of Resource Development for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region. She announced the naming of several rooms in honor or in memory of these donors:
- Mid-America Beverage – creation of Express Enrollment computer center
- Syndicate Sales – creation of computer classroom near bookstore
- Kokomo Grain Co. – remodeling of an existing computer lab to house the Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP)
- Don and Louise Thomas – remodeling of the student commons
- Haynes International – renovation of space to allow the return of the library and tutoring and testing operations from the current LRC (Learning Resource Center) on Touby Pike
- Jean Heinemann-Koch – renovation and equipping of testing computer lab in Express Enrollment Center
The College also is working with Kokomo Opalescent Glass on an installation of blown glass globes to enhance the renovated main entrance. The artwork will represent Kokomo Region and the other 13 regions that make up Ivy Tech’s statewide presence.
Along with bringing the library, testing center, tutoring, disability services and ASAP back to the main campus, near-term plans include renovating the science labs and classrooms in the west hallway to provide up-to-date facilities for chemistry, biology, physics and earth sciences.
To register for fall term that begins Aug. 24 or to get more information about Ivy Tech’s new Express Enrollment Center, call 765-459-0561, ext. 7239.