WARSAW — Ivy Tech Community College and Lutheran Health Network recently signed an agreement to offer all LHN employees, which includes more than 7,200 individuals region-wide, an opportunity to earn college credit through the college’s Achieve Your Degree program.
Achieve Your Degree is a statewide collaboration between Ivy Tech campuses and its community businesses and organizations that offer free or low-cost tuition to employees and members through tuition reimbursement or financial support from business and industry.
“The Ivy Tech Fort Wayne/Lutheran Health Network partnership exhibits our continued commitment to providing the education and training needed for the workforce throughout northeast Indiana,” said Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier. “Our strong healthcare career programs, along with other career programs, help individuals gain the skills that are needed in the key industries across the region. Lutheran Health Network and 26 other industry partners in northeast Indiana have committed to their employees’ continued educational growth by becoming an Ivy Tech AYD partner.”
With Achieve Your Degree, Lutheran Health Network’s employees must complete six months of service before becoming eligible for tuition assistance. The college offers a wide variety of class options, days, times, and even online options to meet students’ needs.
LHN also works with high school senior volunteers. Of the 80 to 100 students who volunteer, about 20 percent are hired by the network, but wouldn’t be eligible for tuition assistance due to the six month waiting period. To help these students attend Ivy Tech immediately, an additional component to the agreement was developed. This allows the volunteers-turned-employees to have tuition deferred by Ivy Tech to help with the financial burden until they become eligible for tuition assistance. This will be student-deferred billing with no reimbursement from the employer.
All other LHN employees who meet guidelines for tuition assistance will receive employer-deferred tuition.
Nursing students will have their full-time employee requirement waived and are able to utilize tuition assistance after 90 days of employment at a network entity. They can also work as little as one day per week once accepted into the School of Nursing to help them focus on succeeding in the classroom.
LHN employees participating in Ivy Tech’s AYD program will have access to all Ivy Tech courses, with the opportunity to earn a credential with reimbursement conditions developed and implemented by the network.
“Identifying opportunities to support our team members who are at various stages of their career development is just one way we make the network stronger,” says Mike Poore, regional president and CEO of Lutheran Health Network. “The pursuit of further education positively impacts our employees’ ability to meet the ever-changing needs of patients and the communities we serve.”
The program is available to Lutheran Health Network employees starting this fall.