Yvonne Corliss, 70, is a student in the AchieveYour Degree program at Ivy Tech Community College. “I feel like you’re never too old to learn. If I stay in this area for another 10 years, I need to know things. I don’t need to be here guessing,” she said. John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin
Yvonne Corliss, 70, is a student in the AchieveYour Degree program at Ivy Tech Community College. “I feel like you’re never too old to learn. If I stay in this area for another 10 years, I need to know things. I don’t need to be here guessing,” she said. John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON – Yvonne Corliss loves to work with people, so she believes her job as a life skills coach at Aspire is perfect.

Though her position is perfect, Corliss doesn’t believe she is – yet.

But through Ivy Tech Community College’s Achieve Your Degree partnership with her employer, she started online classes through the school’s Anderson campus last fall at age 70 to complete a major in human services. 

“I feel like you’re never too old to learn. If I stay in this area for another 10 years, I need to know things. I don’t need to be here guessing,” she said.

Corliss is one of an average of 25 part-time and full-time students enrolled in Achieve Your Degree at any given time at the Anderson campus.

Corliss said she learned about the program through an email from her employer.

“Taking classes was the perfect timing to learn about all the things I need to know to excel,” she said. “That helps me because I probably really couldn’t afford to do all of it. The fact they are paying for the books, which are really expensive, and the tuition, gives the opportunity to go to school.”

Christina Collins, vice chancellor of enrollment and student success at Ivy Tech’s Anderson campus, said the college has had similar programs available statewide for several years but that stronger standalone local partnerships were developed in time for the start of school last fall. Local partnerships are with Aspire, Cardon Health Care, Helmer Scientific, Magnolia Health Systems, Miller Health Systems, NTN, Trilogy and Nestle. 

“I think the key to Achieve Your Degree is that it removes barriers,” she said.

Ivy Tech’s regional spokeswoman Jennifer Gasiorek said the program works directly with employers to bill directly.

“One of the down sides to tuition reimbursement in the past was the employees had to pay up front,” she said.

However, in many instances, employers may pay only for A’s and B’s when it comes to grades, Gasiorek said. “We have an agreement with the employers that we can share grades with the employer.”

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