Will provide scholarships to train drug counselors to work in Knox, other counties

On average, five Hoosiers die from drug overdoses every day — that’s approximately 1,800 deaths a year, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. To combat this problem, there is a new opportunity on the horizon for those pursuing addictions services careers.

Provided by the Duke Energy Foundation, Ivy Tech Community College is now offering scholarships for the addiction studies certificate for eligible students pursuing the addiction services field, especially looking to become a licensed addictions counselor.

To qualify, students must have received their bachelor’s degree. Possibilities could include human services, psychology, social work, family studies and more. They also must work in one of the 11 following counties: Clay, Gibson, Greene, Hendricks, Knox, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion or Vigo.

Scholarship recipients will have all tuition, books and other fees covered. It is also free to apply. It is best to apply as soon as possible, as scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Spring semester classes will be starting Jan. 13, 2020.

Classes are available through Ivy Tech’s Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Bloomington campuses — depending on which county the student works in. Specifically in Bloomington, covering only two counties, the program can fund approximately eight to 10 students.

The Duke Energy Foundation aims to combat opioid addiction and provide services by building a workforce pipeline of behavioral and mental health professionals specifically in the Wabash Valley area.

The foundation provided $250,000 towards battling addiction — $175,000 to Ivy Tech campuses and $75,000 to the Hamilton Center, a behavioral health center that has facilities providing services in Duke’s target areas. Hamilton Center will be starting a pilot program to support those unemployed or wanting to work while undergoing treatment for an opioid disorder.

Among the $175,000 provided to Ivy Tech, Terre Haute’s campus (covering the most counties) received $105,000, while Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses received $30,000 each.

“Duke has been a strong partner with Ivy Tech for many years from biotechnology to entrepreneurship and this is a continuation of that relationship,” said Susie Graham, Ivy Tech’s director of development. “This could definitely grow in a cost-effective and timely way.”

“I’m excited because the certificate is relatively new to this area,” said Chelsea Rood-Emmick, Ivy Tech’s program chair and associate professor of human services. “I’m looking forward to seeing more people earn this.”

“You can’t put a dollar figure on how impactful and transformative this is for these students,” Graham said.

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