Indiana Vocational Technical College is a public institution that offers a wide range of technical, semi-technical, and vocational programs in over 40 locations throughout Indiana. The school, popularly known as Ivy Tech, awards two-year associate degrees and technical certificates. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as other appropriate agencies for specific programs.

The St. Vincent Infirmary building, built in 1913, was purchased by Ivy Tech and forms part of the state’s largest community college campus. Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source

The Indiana General Assembly founded Indiana Vocational and Technical College in 1963 with a two-year $50,000 appropriation for planning and development. Legislation establishing the college specified that a seven-person board of trustees (later 13) govern the school. The initial board, appointed by Governor Matthew Welsh, included representatives of specific constituencies as well as the general public, and the state superintendent of public instruction as an ex officio member.

From 1963 to 1965, Dr. J. M. Ryder, the director of Purdue University’s Indianapolis regional campus, acted as the school’s part-time interim administrator. In 1965, the institution’s board of trustees appointed Frederic M. Hadley, a former executive at Eli Lilly and Company and a vice president with Wabash College in Crawfordsville, as the school’s first president. The school began classes the same year. The state legislature also provided a $2.8 million budget and authorized the creation of 13 districts, each with its own board of trustees, in order for the college to offer vocational training statewide.

The Ivy Tech Culinary Arts and Conference Center, formerly known as the Stouffer’s Indianapolis Inn, is located in the Highland Vicinity neighborhood. Credit: City of Indianapolis, Department of Metropolitan Development, Indiana Historical Society View Source

Though Indiana Vocational Technical College was created by the Indiana General Assembly to provide “occupational training of a practical, technical and semi-technical nature for the citizens of Indiana,” there was strong initial resistance to the college within the state educational bureaucracy. Between 1966 and early 1969, opponents vigorously protested that public vocational and technical education should be controlled by the state’s department of public instruction rather than by a separate board of trustees. Despite this bureaucratic conflict, the school continued to grow. Twelve of the college’s 13 regions had been issued charters by 1969 and enrollment continued to increase.

Though the Central Indiana region was formally chartered in June 1969, Ivy Tech first offered classes in Indianapolis in 1965, when the school assumed operation of the Mallory Technical Institute under a contract with the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners. The P. R. Mallory Company had given the building housing the institute, located at 1315 East Washington Street, to the Indianapolis Public Schools. Until the region was chartered, the administrative and instructional staff at the institute were technically employees of the public school system. Mallory Technical Institute officially became a part of Indiana Vocational Technical College in 1969. The college had also signed a contract in 1965 with the state Vocational and Technical Education Board to assume responsibility for the Manpower Training Program at the city’s major air terminal, Weir Cook (now Indianapolis International Airport).

Ivy Tech Community College, 2020 Credit: Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC View Source

The college’s regular operation in Indianapolis began in September 1966, with ten full-time and 357 part-time students. Warren F. Haase served as the first director of Ivy Tech programs in the region. He later became the region’s vice president and dean. Ivy Tech has offered programs in Indianapolis continuously since that time. Several of the college’s programs of study were available at the region’s campus complex on North Meridian Street at Fall Creek Parkway, where the institution moved in 1983. This was formerly the home of the American United Life Insurance Company. A new Technologies Building opened at this site in 1990. Indianapolis’ fall enrollment in 1992 approached 6,100 students.

Indiana Vocational Technical College changed its name in 1995 to Ivy Tech State College. Four years later, the college partnered with Vincennes University to form the Community College of Indiana. This partnership lasted until 2005 when the Indiana General Assembly made Ivy Tech the state’s official community college system. The college changed its name once more to Ivy Tech Community College.

Ivy Tech’s Thom England, chef instructor, Jeffery Bricker, department chair, and Lauri Griffin, assistant department chair at the unveiling of Ivy Tech’s new Courses Curbside Food Truck, 2021 Credit: Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC View Source

In 2008, Ivy Tech worked with Indiana University, taking over most of IU’s associate degrees. By 2012, Ivy Tech needed more space in Indianapolis to accommodate its 22,000 students. The school took over the site of the former St. Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek Parkway (maintaining the building’s original facade) and turned it into the Illinois Fall Creek Center. The new center included more classroom and lab space, study rooms, two community rooms, and the campus cafe. It also opened the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center, which was previously the Stouffer Hotel at 2820 North Meridian Street. The building housed the Corporate College, Hospitality Administration Program, a conference center, and a student-run restaurant and bakery.

As of 2020, Ivy Tech was Indiana’s only full-fledged community college. The Indianapolis campus consisted of nine buildings including the Julia M. Carson Learning Resource Center, Glick Technology Center, and the Fairbanks Center for Health Professions. Full-time enrollment was around 21,000 and annual full-time tuition was between $4,000-$5,000.

Revised July 2021

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