How one Ivy Tech Electronic and Computer Technology student is using their degree to move up

Matthew Longshore graduated from Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis in 2019 with a degree in Electronic and Computer Technology (ECT), which became a foot in the door to what he shares is an exciting and challenging field.

ECT is a quickly growing profession, with several opportunities. Ivy Tech ECT students graduate with a plethora of career opportunities available to them, such as computing, networking, communications, process control and automation, robotics, biomedical, energy management and transportation.

“My degree from Ivy Tech has helped me achieve my goals. I will be transferring to a new department at work, which reflects my degree,” Matthew said. “I am currently an Electro Mechanic at Citizens Energy, and I will be transferring to Instrumentation and Controls at the end of March.”

The ECT program prepares students like Matthew to be skilled technicians in the field that are proficient in implementing electronic designs, collecting, analyzing and interpreting data, installing and maintaining equipment and troubleshooting various electronic systems.

“The equipment I work on encompasses the gamete of industrial machinery, from small hydraulic units to the Eagle Creek Dam flood gates,” he added.

The field is not without its stimulating challenges that encourage professional growth and problem-solving.

“Troubleshooting the wastewater control systems can be difficult,” Matthew admits. Still, Ivy Tech equips students with a comprehensive education that adequately prepares them for whatever obstacles or professional challenges may come their way.

Upon graduating, students can acquire the associate level Certified Electronics Technician certification, which shows prospective employers they have learned the critical electronics and electrical skills needed, as well as the knowledge and ability to excel in the workplace.

“I would advise students to talk with people in the field they are trying to enter and to choose courses that pertain to that field,” Matthew advised to prospective students. “Stay the course and don’t quit!”

Ivy Tech Electrical Engineering alumni’s dream to pursue a career in STEM made possible through transfer opportunity

In May of 2019, Donte Sims graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with a degree in Electrical Engineering, which helped pave the way for him to continue to IUPUI.

“My program of study was not by any means easy,” Donte said, “but challenged me to be my best.”

Like many students, Donte chose to take many of his general education classes at Ivy Tech before transferring.

“I needed 62 credit hours from a regionally accredited college in order to attend IUPUI,” he recollected.

Many students like Donte choose to capitalize on the affordability of earning college credits at Ivy Tech, where the average cost of a credit hour for an in-state student ($141) is nearly half the cost of many other four-year universities.  Donte took 33 credit hours of General Education classes and 29 credit hours of EET technical classes.

“Once at Ivy Tech, I saw the benefits of attending an affordable school with a wealth of knowledge among its facility.”

Upon graduating from Ivy Tech, Donte is working towards completing his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology and is scheduled to graduate in May 2021

Donte Simms Pic

John Ulrich, professor, EET, Donte Sims, and Mark Atkins, Program Chair, EET 

“Ivy Tech helped me get where I am by providing plenty of networking events, scholar events, community service events and learning aids,” he said. “I spent a great deal of time in the Learning Resource Center getting assistance, completing homework assignments, and studying for tests.”

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) is one of many beneficial resources Ivy Tech students have access to during their time as a student – at no cost. Its free tutoring services are available in a variety of subjects, including math, chemistry, and English.

Not only did his time at Ivy Tech help him transfer to IUPUI, but it’s allowed Donte to apply his skills during his internship with ERMCO. ERMCO is a company that performs electrical, systems and automation installation for major commercial and industrial projects in Indiana and across the United States.

“As I continue this academic journey to better my future, I am continually meeting new people and experiencing new events. It is important to keep an open mind and be proactive. You never know who you’re going to meet,” Donte said. “My future plans are to join the ERMCO team to begin my career, and assist others with an intent to pursue a degree in the STEM field,”


Ivy Tech Machine Tool Technology graduate lands a rewarding career as CAD/CAM instructor for Columbus Area Career Connection

When Dalton Foley wanted to advance his career in Machine Tool Technology, he needed to choose an institution that would give him the flexibility to work and take classes, which is why he decided to enroll at Ivy Tech Community College.

“It was a better choice for me to stay at my current job and take classes during the evening, rather than attend a university,” Dalton said. “It is an affordable way to achieve credentials. A four-year university isn’t for everyone.”

Ivy Tech’s Machine Tool Technology Program offers both hands-on learning and computer control machining that provides students with the education and certifications necessary for a successful career in the Production Machinist and Machine Tool Technology industry.

Qualified machine operators are in high demand and receive good starting salaries.

Dalton utilized the knowledge and skillset he learned at Ivy Tech to help him land his current job as a Precision Machining and CAD/CAM instructor for Columbus Area Career Connection.

Dalton Foley Pic

Thanks to his Ivy Tech education, he landed the job over multiple candidates who had more job experience.

“I planned on being in this industry for the remainder of my working days,” Dalton said, “I had almost eight years of experience as a toolmaker. Then, my current job position opened up. The position happened to be for the same CTE class, at the same high school from which I graduated.”

In his position, Dalton gets to work with high school students and enjoys helping the next generation discover career opportunities.

“It feels great to share the knowledge that I learned from Ivy Tech and the experiences working in the industry with today’s youth.”

I Define Success – Jacob Coverdill

“If you genuinely want to get an education, you can find a way.” Ivy Tech Software Development student Jacob Coverdill says. “There are opportunities out there for people of any background for an education. I found my opportunity at Ivy Tech.”

Initially, Jacob enrolled at Ivy Tech with a straight-forward goal of “getting in and getting out.” Yet, as the semester progressed, Jacob found that Ivy Tech was more than just a means of attaining a degree, but rather, was a welcoming and comfortable place that was equipped with resources and community that greatly enriched his professional and personal experience.

Ivy Tech was able to fulfill Jacob’s community and social-based needs.

“I love being around people and going to student events and study groups!” Jacob explains. “The great thing about Ivy Tech is that even when I couldn’t make an event within a week, they would have another I could go to.”

As a community college that strives for inclusion, equity, and a strong sense of belonging for each of their students, Ivy Tech offers a variety of scholarships, clubs, workshops, and services that allow for all students – regardless of background or context – to obtain a quality education in which their needs are met.

“Being a veteran, I wanted to make sure I could go to a school where I didn’t feel overlooked,” Jacob says. “I loved how well the ladies in the Veterans Affairs office handled some of the questions I had and made me aware of what was available to me.”

Presently, Jacob is building experience in Software Engineering at his current job, learning the ins and outs of what it looks like to use what he has diligently studied in school.  

“I would like to take more of a leadership role in development down the road and become a Senior Software Engineer,” Jacobs says. “Software Development is a growing field with lots of opportunity. It wasn’t until I was in the workforce that I realized how many different environments my particular set of skills could be useful. It’s very enlightening to know how much I can do with this education!”

Due to his comprehensive education and the social resources he has been able to utilize during his time at Ivy Tech, Jacob has achieved what so many others strive to achieve: a job he legitimately enjoys.

 “I genuinely like what I do.” hr says. “This is the first time I’ve been in a job that no longer feels like just another job. It doesn’t feel like I’m trying to survive anymore. Going through school, making connections with people at Ivy Tech, and then equipping myself for the workforce is very gratifying.”

Attending Ivy Tech essentially gave Jacob the skills, interpersonal relationships, and confidence to finally get more than just a job.  Jacob’s success encourages others to pursue a fulfilling career so that they too can feel contented.

I Define Success – Mark Garrett

Mark Garrett comes from a family of military men. When his grandfather, a former military man, was dying of terminal cancer, Mark wanted to give him something. Compelled by his desire to honor his grandpa, Mark decided to follow in the path of many of his other family members by joining the U.S. Air Force.

After his time in the service, Mark found himself pursuing a long term desire for a degree in Visual Communications.

“I am an artist at heart and soul,” he said.

After difficulty accessing his GI Bill, Mark chose to enroll at Ivy Tech. Due to the financial comfort and lack of hoops to jump through, the College was the obvious choice.

 Ivy Tech equipped Mark with resources and connections that jump-started his passion. The Student Success Center was a particularly useful resource in Mark’s academic career.

“I had a fantastic experience with the advising meetings I had there,” he explained. “They taught me a lot about interviewing.”

Another important and impactful connection Mark had at Ivy Tech was with his Fine Arts professor, Hector Delcampo.

“Prof. Delcampo had a heavy influence on my art because he changed my outlook on how to draw, how to look at things.” Mark said. “He taught me to interpret and create something to solve a problem and evoke emotion. I would not be pushing myself to be the best artist I can be without his influence.”

And Mark truly is pushing himself to be the best artist he can be.

On top of his visual communications education, he is a self-taught digital artist and has been doing freelance art and design work, designing logos and vision boards for clients.

“My mission is to take over an industry that needs somebody like me! With my passion, I can set myself apart from everyone else,” he said.

“My mentality, no matter how bold it sounds, is to take over the world.”

This is a dream he hopes others can also make come true, too.

“My plan now is to take what I got from Ivy Tech and build off of that. I encourage other people to start building their passions at Ivy Tech.”

To learn more about Ivy Tech’s Visual Communications program, visit For veterans looking for assistance enrolling, visit