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At a glance
Harrison College
Business: The for-profit educational institution grants associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in five areas: Business, health sciences, information technology, criminal justice and veterinary technology. The college also has a culinary division, The Chef’s Academy.
Headquarters: Indianapolis
Locations: 12 campuses in Indiana and Ohio; culinary classes are offered in Indiana and North Carolina
Founded: 1902 in Marion as Indiana Business College; became Harrison College in 2009
Employees: 850
Enrollment: More than 5,000, including 250 in Fort Wayne
2012 Revenue: Not disclosed
Jean Dunbar teaches a fundamentals of math class to her students at Harrison College.

College links up with employers

Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Sharlynn McNall, a student at Harrison College, focuses on her Composition 1 class final. The college is using advisory board members to make community connections to help students find internships and jobs.

Crista Miller is searching for a few good men – and women.

Harrison College’s director of career services wants to meet professionals who will be assets to the for-profit school’s local advisory board.

They’re the ones who vouch for the program’s quality when employers are considering taking on a Harrison College student for an internship. The board now has 26 members, and Miller would like to add 10 more.

“You can never have enough,” she said.

Richard Franco, Auburn Gear’s finance director, is a recent addition to the group.

Building relationships is an important part of the college’s work, which includes placing its graduates in jobs.

About 90 percent of Harrison graduates who are looking for jobs find one within a year of earning a two- or four-year degree, newly appointed President Kynan Simison said. The college boasts 100 percent placement for its surgical tech graduates.

Most of Harrison’s 250 local students are in their mid- to upper 20s, officials said. They study business, health sciences and criminal justice on the local campus at 6413 N. Clinton St.

Information technology courses are offered online only. Students must travel to another campus for veterinary technology and culinary courses.

Simison, who has worked for Harrison College for more than eight years, was named to head the local campus in October. She already has some ambitious plans.

“I’m really going to get out and talk to our employers and find out what they need,” she said.

The college has the flexibility to respond quickly to meet market needs, Simison added.

Luke Knoke, dean of faculty, said courses are as hands-on as possible, with 15 or 20 students at a time.

“We pride ourselves,” he said, “on having small class sizes.”