Jeri McCorkle has been named Program Manager for the new Training, Resource and Advocacy Connector (TRAC), part of the East Central Indiana Talent Collaborative (ECITC).

TRAC was developed to support local early care and learning providers in the ECITC’s nine-county region – Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph, Rush and Wayne.

Jeri McCorkle is the new Program Manager for TRAC.

“I am passionate about helping communities grow and thrive, and I am excited to be part of a strong team of Birth to Five experts,” McCorkle said. “Along with the support of Ball State, we will be able to broaden our impact for children, early care and education providers, families, and businesses throughout East Central Indiana.”

The East Central Indiana region was awarded $15 million in funds from the State of Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration & Development Initiative (READI) program in 2021. In late 2022, it was determined that $1.5 million would be earmarked for the Birth to Five work of the East Central Indiana Talent Collaborative (ECITC). The Regional Birth to Five Coalition developed TRAC to do just that.

“This Program Manager role will be key to the success of the TRAC program in East Central Indiana by moving the strategic priorities forward and working with various stakeholders to achieve the expected outcomes,” said Ashley Surpas, Associate Director of Regional Initiatives in Ball State’s Office of Community Engagement, who oversees ECITC.

Strategic priorities include identifying gaps in early care, further educating providers and developing a pipeline of future providers, and advocating for early care and learning’s needs.

Surpas said McCorkle – who was already part of the ECITC Birth to Five Coalition – was a great fit for the TRAC position.

“As Program Manager, Jeri will be able to leverage her past experiences and connections in the East Central Indiana region and position TRAC for success from the beginning,” she added.

McCorkle received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in elementary education from Ball State University.

She taught at the elementary school level, mostly at Cowan Elementary, for nearly 30 years. After that, she worked with the Rush County Community Foundation to create its early learning coalition (First5) and was its director for 5 years.

“During that time, we successfully shone the spotlight on the importance of early learning in sustaining a thriving community, with both immediate and long-term results,” she said.

Her family includes her husband Mark, son Andrew, and son and daughter-in-law Trevor and Emily. She enjoys “being out on the water, doing puzzles, and building rock walls and walkways.”

For more information about TRAC, contact Jeri at