Staff invests time and in partnerships to enroll over 9 percent of cohort 2023 Marion County scholars
October 16, 2019 – INDIANAPOLIS – In its first year as a program, Indy Achieves enrolled over 9 percent of the total Marion County students enrolled in 21st Century Scholars. With a total enrollment of over 4100 Marion County 8th grade students following the 2018-2019 school year, this resulted in a five percentage point county-wide increase in the rate of eligible students enrolling in the program from the previous 8th grade cohort.It would not have been possible to reach this number without the assistance and support of partners and local educators, parents, and counselors.
“Our workforce needs an additional 215,000 individuals with a postsecondary degree or credential in order to meet employer demand,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Initiatives like Indy Achieves and programs like 21st Century Scholars break down financial barriers for students who may not have had the opportunity to go to college – providing them the skills they need to secure good paying jobs that are currently going unfilled in Marion County.”
21st Century Scholars is the state’s early college promise program and is administered by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Students must register in 7th or 8th grade to be eligible to receive up to four years of paid tuition to a participating Indiana college or university as they pursue their postsecondary career. To remain eligible for 21st Century Scholars, students must complete a variety of Scholar Success Program requirements and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the April 15 deadline.
The Indy Achieves staff has impacted the enrollment in Marion County 21st Century Scholars by spending countless hours assisting families in finalizing their applications, attending school events, strategizing new marketing techniques, meeting with schools and counselors, and streamlining application processes, among other activities to encourage and connect with the local community. Indy Achieves will again this school year be working with partners like the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to enroll Marion County Students.
“For the 2019-2020 school year, we are on pace to more than double the number from last year that Indy Achieves enrolls in 21st Century Scholars,” said Esther Gamble, EmployIndy’s Manager of Student Progress for Indy Achieves. “This is a testament to our involvement with the schools and communities and we are excited to grow these partnerships as we work together to open doors for young people to persist in postsecondary education.”
It’s not too early in 7th and 8th grade to be planning for life after high school. The 21st Century Scholars program is designed for students to aspire to higher learning and have the understanding that no matter their socioeconomic status, they have the opportunity to pursue education and training beyond high school. The 21st Century Scholars application is free and takes less than five minutes to complete.
“Indy Achieves has been an integral partner in the enrollment of 21st Century Scholars in Marion County. As we embark on the 30th anniversary of the 21st Century Scholars program next year, this and other community partnerships will continue to make a vital impact on the work being done at the local level to ensure Scholars are ready for college and successful in their pursuit of education beyond high school,” says Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers.
Throughout the county there are educators and counselors working to register their eligible 7th and 8th grade students in 21st Century Scholars. One of the larger schools in the district, Northview Middle School, is setting the bar high for other locations as they utilize an internal process to enroll students.
“Enrolling students in 21st Century Scholars is something that is a part of the community and culture of our school. It involves a comprehensive plan that starts in September each year and doesn’t wrap up until the last day of school,” said Jen Dodson, Professional School Counselor at Northview Middle School. “It is a big job but one that is incredibly important as it helps us break down barriers that exist between some of our students and their goal of attaining a college degree.”
Marion County educators and families can receive assistance, register and find out more at IndyAchieves.org/21cs. Statewide applications are available at all middle schools and accepted through the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s ScholarTrack. The application program is for current Indiana 7th and 8th grade students through June 30, 2020.
IUPUI and Ivy Tech students among those to receive funds to remove barriers to completing postsecondary education
19 SEPTEMBER 2019 – INDIANAPOLIS – One in three students who enroll in postsecondary education never receives a credential. Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indy Achieves are committed to changing that by investing nearly $500,000 in completion grants for the Fall 2019 semester. These grants will help enable successful students to complete their postsecondary degree or credential at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI. The effort is designed to help cover any financial deficits affecting students’ ability to pay tuition and other academic costs.
“Too many Indianapolis college students are not completing their degree – not because they aren’t succeeding academically, but because of financial need,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Our partnership with Indy Achieves, Ivy Tech and IUPUI will enable Marion County residents to complete the degrees that employers are demanding.”
Indy Achieves will now help students stay enrolled or re-enroll at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI in order to complete their degree. Based off a successful model from Georgia State University in Atlanta, the Indy Achieves Completion Grants will prioritize students closest to graduation and those in high-demand degree fields. All recipients are required to complete a financial literacy module and an academic plan so there is a definitive date on the calendar for when they intend to graduate.
“Indy Achieves Completion Grants recognize the reality that too often for our students, life circumstances get in the way of their path to graduation,” said Dr. Kathleen Lee, chancellor of Ivy Tech Central Indiana. “We are proud that so many of our students stepped up to take advantage of the opportunity at a fresh start.”
Indy Achieves staff worked with financial aid offices at both schools to pilot 53 grants in Spring 2019, which led to comparatively higher graduation and retention for recipients. Based on its initial success, both institutions decided to award more completion grants for the 2019-2020 school year. More than 200 students across both campuses will now receive funding to help them complete college.
“I’ve been working so hard to complete my degree,” said Ivy Tech completion grant recipient Marina Arila. “After years of balancing work, family, and my education, this completion grant will finally give me the chance to finish my last five classes and graduate in December.”
With recent layoffs and closures, the City collaborates with partners to provide resources to ensure a smooth transition for dislocated workers
INDIANAPOLIS – September 6, 2019 – Recently, Nestle USA Inc. and Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream Co. announced that they will close a frozen distribution center on the southside of Indianapolis, directly impacting 172 employees by the end of 2019 (as cited by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development WARN notices). In order to assist these dislocated workers, the City of Indianapolis is working with partners to provide resources that will help in preparing them for the next step in their career.
As with previous large-scale worker dislocations in Marion County, the City of Indianapolis, EmployIndy, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and many community partners are working in tandem to directly address the needs of these workers. Historically, EmployIndy has partnered with the employer to provide on-site career services for dislocated workers in order to assist them in taking the next step towards a new job.
Since May of 2019, nearly 1000 Indianapolis workers have been identified by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development as potentially being affected by a company layoff or site closure. In order to best serve these residents, every effort will be made to ensure the dislocated workers are positioned to continue their careers at comparable wages if possible and be provided necessary services.
“It is important that we work together with our partners at the State to deploy all the resources available to us in order to provide assistance for these dislocated workers,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Utilizing the services and tools available through WorkOne Indy, we will be able to better serve these residents as they search for the next step in their career.”
WorkOne Indy, Marion County’s full-service American Job Center overseen by EmployIndy, has workshops available for dislocated workers to advance their job search skill set and connect with local providers to pursue job training, a high school equivalency degree, or higher education credentials as they prepare for success in in-demand industries. EmployIndy and WorkOne Indy currently have grant funds specifically available to aid dislocated workers with opportunities for training and upskilling to ensure a positive transition in their career.
To provide further career assistance, WorkOne Indy career navigators work closely with individuals to identify transferable skills, refine resumes, apply for jobs, prepare for interviews, and more. Every Wednesday, WorkOne Indy hosts Wednesdays @ WorkOne featuring local employers looking to fill open positions. In addition, they keep a calendar of job fairs, workshops, and events – such as the upcoming JobNewsUSA.com Indianapolis Job Fair on September 11, the Southeast Community Services’ 901 Job Fair on September 18, and many others throughout Indianapolis.
“In addition to offering career services, WorkOne Indy career navigators can identify supportive social services to ease the burden often felt by those going through this sudden life change,” said Marie Mackintosh, Chief Operations Officer at EmployIndy. “Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for the affected workers as we work quickly to maximize available resources and minimize personal and professional hardships often associated with job loss.”
Given the increased need for these services, WorkOne Indy will be open to the public Monday through Friday at the main office at 4410 N. Shadeland Avenue and during the week at many community partner organizations located throughout Indianapolis. Hours, events, and more information can be found at WorkOneIndy.com.