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Ivy Tech Chancellor visits expanded Learning Center

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, Ivy Tech Chancellor Kim Barnett-Johnson, Ph.D, visited the Huntington County Community Learning Center for a meet-and-greet with community leaders as well as Learning Center and Huntington County Community School Corporation staff. Featured, Barnett-Johnson (right) speaks with County Council member Charles Chapman (left) as others chat and wait to introduce themselves.
On Wednesday, Oct. 27, Ivy Tech Chancellor Kim Barnett-Johnson, Ph.D, visited the Huntington County Community Learning Center for a meet-and-greet with community leaders as well as Learning Center and Huntington County Community School Corporation staff. Featured, Barnett-Johnson (right) speaks with County Council member Charles Chapman (left) as others chat and wait to introduce themselves. Photo by Katelynn Farley.

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, Kim Barnett-Johnson, Ph.D., the Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College, came to the newly expanded Huntington County Community Learning Center for a meet-and-greet.

Community leaders, industry representatives and staff members from the Huntington County Community School Corporation and Learning Center were present at the event and were given the opportunity to learn about the vision that Barnett-Johnson has for Ivy Tech and the communities it serves.

Barnett-Johnson officially started her time as Ivy Tech Chancellor on Aug. 16 this year. Prior to her position as chancellor, she served as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the Fort Wayne campus. She has more than 27 years of higher education experience, including positions such as dean, I-Adapt/Degree Completion Coordinator, adjunct instructor, director of financial aid, director of ethnic student programs and director of minority student recruitment/programs/retention.

Barnett-Johnson says that her time as the chancellor has gone “really well” and that her main focus for the time being is to connect with the communities that Ivy Tech serves.

“I don’t want to walk in the door and just start making changes,” Barnett-Johnson says. “I really want to find out what the community wants, and then build my vision around what the community needs and desires are.”

She says that Ivy Tech is one of Indiana’s “best-kept secrets” and that many people who are looking to further their education might not know about the programs that Ivy Tech offers. Because of places like the Huntington County
Community Learning Center, high school students and other community members have the opportunity to hone their skills and even complete courses that are transferable to other four-year state institutions.

“Ivy Tech might not be the end-all, but it’s a great place to start,” Barnett-Johnson said.

Something else that Ivy Tech is working to do is to partner with K-12 schools to get certifications into the hands of students before they graduate high school.

“It gives them such a leg up,” Barnett-Johnson says. “Studies are showing that reaching out and introducing students - even as early as middle school – to careers gets them to thinking about what they need to be doing in the classroom.”

During the meet and greet, Barnett-Johnson was given the opportunity to tour the expanded portion of the Learning Center. The expansion added 20,478 square feet, bringing the total square footage to 49,784. The Learning Center now has a welding bay in the classroom, advanced manufacturing lab and classroom and simulation room and remote learning lab.