TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — $12 million; that’s how much money Ivy Tech’s Terre Haute campus is hoping to raise through its current fundraising campaign.

“It really is comprehensive, from diversity, equity and belonging,” Ivy Tech Terre Haute Chancellor Lea Anne Crooks. “It’s comprehensive in getting support for our students through scholarship dollars. It also is on infrastructure in other areas, equipment in other areas.”

The $12 million is part of a statewide comprehensive campaign for Ivy Tech campuses that in total is aiming to raise $285 million. One area of programming that will benefit from the campaign is nursing.

“Ivy Tech is the largest nurse-producing program in the country,” Crooks shared. “We are now increasing that statewide by 600 additional students that we want to graduate each year.”

A recent donation from Union Health Foundation of $1 million will help to boost the Terre Haute nursing program.

Trade is another workforce that Ivy Tech is helping to grow, with companies in the Wabash Valley looking to the community college for skilled workers who are trained in the latest trade technology.

“Our manufacturing companies that are just right here in the industrial park right next to us talk to us every day about their needs because they’re changing,” Crooks explained. “It’s a much more automated system than even what it was prior to COVID because they had to figure out how to do things with less workforce. So they’re coming to us.”

Students are in turn coming to those employers, according to data shared by Crooks.

“85% of our students when they graduate, they stay and work in the Wabash Valley,” Crooks said. “As a whole from Ivy Tech, 92% of our students stay within the state of Indiana, but 85% staying here, living here, working here, we really do serve the local community.”

Some of those students are finishing degrees at Indiana State University, utilizing the Pathway to Blue partnership, which Crooks says has grown in numbers.

“There are some things that we saw an increase because of things that were changing at ISU and as they really focused on retention efforts,” Crooks explained. “For them, it became a strategy that we partnered with, and so we do see an increase. We’re excited about where we head next year with our next cohort.”

Crooks said Ivy Tech is happy to help people of all ages get started on their higher education journey – a journey that may look different than it did before the pandemic.

“As far as COVID and people’s lives changing, we definitely are seeing that our students, no matter what age they’re coming to us, if they’re 18 or if they are 60, that their life presented them additional challenges the last couple of years,” Crooks said. “It has just really become much more important for us on campus to work with students individually, to make sure we’re taking care of any of the barriers that they see. Faculty work very closely with them to make sure that they have the learning environments that are most conducive to the lives that they’re leading right now.”

Sometimes that work starts in high school. Ivy Tech is partnering with the Indiana Department of Education this summer for a program called Crossing the Finish Line, which will allow high schoolers to complete courses for free in order to obtain dual enrollment courses.

During the summer months, people can also take advantage of the new Ruble Park located next to Ivy Tech’s main campus.

“We often think people forget that we’re this far south,” Crooks said. “So just having that opportunity for our citizens, you know, there are so many things in this community that people just don’t know that we have the opportunity for them to take advantage of.”

Ivy Tech’s statewide campaign is aiming to raise the $285 million by the end of 2023 in order to develop more programming for its students across Indiana.