Ivy Tech takes over state prison GED classes

The Indiana Department of Correction plans to shed the jobs of 118 teachers for GED, literacy and vocational classes at
prisons by turning those programs over to Ivy Tech Community College.

Prison officials estimate the agency will
save $7 million a year with the change, which will be phased in over the next year. Changes aren’t planned for education programs
at the state’s juvenile facilities or with current college degree programs, agency spokesman Doug Garrison said.

An average of 4,200 prisoners are enrolled in the non-college programs, and the prison agency said one reason it chose Ivy
Tech was that inmates could continue their education at its campuses around the state after being released.

That
connection is an important one for Ivy Tech, said Susan Brooks, the school’s senior vice president of work force and economic
development.

"We are really hoping to make the educational process more seamless," she said.

Garrison said Ivy Tech must interview all current prison teachers who are interested in making the switch.

Ivy
Tech doesn’t yet know how many teaching positions it will fill, and those it hires will likely be paid less than they earned
from the Department of Correction, Brooks said.

Ivy Tech currently has programs at the Wabash Valley and New Castle
adult prisons and at the Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility, she said.

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