Education centers scheduled to close at year end

September 30, 2009

South Central Indiana Community Learning Centers in Loogootee and Salem will close effective Dec. 31.

Since the creation of the centers in 2002, Indiana State University has provided oversight of these and four other centers in south central Indiana. Learning centers located in Greene, Jackson, Lawrence and Orange counties will remain open.

A grant from Lilly Endowment's CAPE program, which was used to fund operation of the Martin and Washington County-based centers, was exhausted in June, 2009. Since that time, ISU and Learning Center officials have worked with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and Hoosier legislators to find alternative funding.

"ISU is very disappointed that the two centers must be closed," said ISU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jack Maynard. "But with the economic challenges we all are facing in these difficult times, we are convinced that this is the best course of action."

The centers are staffed by two employees who were notified Wednesday that their contracts will end effective Jan. 4, 2010.

The centers have provided access to post-secondary education and job-skills training through a cooperative with Indiana public colleges and universities. Courses have been delivered at the sites by instructors, or through distance learning, such as two-way interactive video and the Internet.

ISU remains committed to assisting students in rural communities who have educational goals they are determined to fulfill, Maynard said.

"We recognize the many challenges that our rural citizens face in attempting to complete a college degree," Maynard said. "We hope that through the services provided by the remaining learning center sites that we can meet most of the needs of the students who are impacted by these closings."

Even though ISU serves as the fiscal agent and site manager for the program, courses are delivered by a number of institutions including Vincennes University, Ivy Tech Community College, and Indiana University-Southeast.

Students who made use of the centers in Loogootee and Salem will still have the opportunity to complete course work or further their education with assistance from nearby learning centers that will remain in operation.

Students who need additional information are encouraged to contact the regional office of the South Central Indiana Community Learning Centers at 812-279-4844.

Contact: C. Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Indiana State University, 812-237-2309 or cmaynard@indstate.edu

Writer: Rachel Wedding McClelland, assistant director of media relations, Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University at 812-237-3790 or rachel.mcclelland@indstate.edu.