Indy Achieves launches new, innovative strategic plan
Outlines Indy Achieves and EmployIndy’s plan to assist Indianapolis residents in experiencing economic growth and mobility through pursuit of postsecondary education
2 February 2021 – Indianapolis – Today Indy Achieves officially launched their new, three-year strategic plan with the continued vision to make postsecondary education attainment a reality for all Marion County residents to enable economic mobility and future prosperity. This strategic plan builds upon the previous plan and includes the following priority areas: Access; Completion; Career Connection; Adult Learners; and Governance, Communications, and Budget.
“As of the end of 2020, over half of the Marion County residents who applied for unemployment insurance had no postsecondary degrees or credentials,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy. “In order to bridge this economic supply/demand gap and remove barriers to education, we need to establish an increased flow of information between residents and institutions, increase support for students as they transition to and through postsecondary education, and create a clear pathway for adults to skill-up and complete industry-recognized credentials or degrees.”
The Indy Achieves Strategic Plan focuses on creating a seamless transition for Indianapolis residents of all ages to transition to higher education and successfully progress into the workforce after completion. Over the past two years, Indy Achieves has focused on traditional pathways to postsecondary education, providing Promise Scholarships and Completion grants to over 1200 students at Ivy Tech Community College – Indianapolis and IUPUI. With this growing plan, the focus will expand to adult learners, leveraging existing relationships built through 21st Century Scholars, adults who attended Ivy Tech or IUPUI but did not complete their degree, and employees at employer partner companies seeking further education.
“By increasing their focus on serving the adult population, Indy Achieves is taking steps to support our residents, neighbors, and peers. The individual impact of this approach will last far beyond the pandemic, as people learn new skills and, ultimately, experience economic mobility as they have increased opportunity to transition into high-demand, higher-paying jobs,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
Indy Achieves will continue partnering with Ivy Tech Community College, IUPUI, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indianapolis middle and high schools, and local employers to streamline a career readiness approach, increasing enrollment and completion rates for residents. Each of these partnerships plays an integral role in ensuring that students and residents alike have equal opportunity for economic growth and success. From engaging with Marion County middle schools to process over 915 21st Century Scholar applications during the 2020 school year, to working closely with employers to allow current employees to re-enroll in postsecondary, Indy Achieves is continuing to build and expand partnerships throughout Indianapolis.
“Completing a postsecondary degree or credential is a crucial factor to maintaining economic mobility. Our team is working tirelessly to ensure that residents not only have access to financial support, but receive personalized assistance as they move through postsecondary,” said Matt Impink, vice president of postsecondary and executive director of Indy Achieves at EmployIndy. “We are excited to see what happens in the coming years and witness the impact our partnerships will make in the lives of people in our community.”
Appendix A: Messages of Support for the 2021 Indy Achieves Strategic Plan
Center for Leadership Development (CLD): Yuri Smith, Manager of Community Programs
“We are so grateful for the immeasurable work that Indy Achieves and you are doing. As a fellow alum, I believe CLD has wired us to ensure we make our community a better place and your strategy to connect families and young people with the 21st Century Scholars program, is one great example of that service. Since partnering with your organization, we have been able to host presentations, register students and expose families to the 21st Century scholars application process, who prior to this relationship, had no idea how their students would be able to pay for college. Thank you for all of your efforts. We look forward to strengthening our relationship, so that we can ensure that all students, who are applicable for the 21st Century Scholars program, register and take advantage of this great program.”
Decatur Middle School: James Storms, School Counselor
“Through support from Indy Achieves, Decatur Middle School is working with families during these challenging times to meet the needs of our students who qualify for the 21st Century Scholar Program. We are grateful for the 21st Century Scholar Presentations during the Parent Zoom Parties. Indy Achieves is supporting both our English and Spanish speaking population! Decatur Middle School recognizes the importance of collaborating with Indy Achieves and we thank you for your generous time and effort working with our families.”
Guion Creek Middle School (MSD Pike Township): Amy Land, School Counselor
“Being a Title 1 school, we strive to get almost all of our students signed up for 21st Century Scholars! This alone can be a daunting job, but especially when added to all of our other counseling duties. Having a partnership with Indy Achieves really helps us be able to get more accurate and detailed information out and to reach more of our families.”
Harshman Middle School: Carrie Murphy, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator
“Indy Achieves continually goes above and beyond for Harshman. From attending parent nights to presenting in classrooms — virtual and in person — Indy Achieves has always been creative and inventive when it comes to meeting the needs of the Harshman Middle School community. When I think of partners who truly make a difference at our school, Indy Achieves is at the top of the list. We have seen our 21st Century Scholar enrollment more than double since partnering with this energetic and professional team and now can’t imagine offering this opportunity to our families without them.”
IUPUI: Boyd Bradshaw, Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Enrollment Management and Chief Enrollment Officer
“Indy Achieves engages in innovative ways to promote quality education and research with a plan that creates new opportunities to ensure student success and degree completion.”
Ivy Tech Community College – Indianapolis: John Cowles, Vice Chancellor for Student Success
“I am incredibly impressed with the work of Indy Achieves focusing on postsecondary certificate and degree attainment of Marion county residents. I look forward to seeing great success in Indy Achieves for years to come.”
Pike High School: Qiana Miller, School Counselor and 21st Century Liaison
“Not often do you encounter a program and staff that always go above and beyond for the promotion of students, but with Indy Achieves you get nothing less than the best. I look forward to many more years of partnership.”
Sense Charter School: Erin Good, School Counselor
“Indy Achieves has been an incredible community partner in our efforts to ensure that students take advantage of the 21st Century Scholars program. It has been so helpful to consult with an outside agency for new and different ideas to get our students and families engaged in the enrollment process. I am thankful that they are willing to come to the table and brainstorm how to reach our school community, no matter the circumstances. I appreciate that Indy Achieves has generated innovative ways to make sure enrollment is easy and accessible to all families. Their assistance lessens my load so I can put energy towards meeting my students’ various needs outside college readiness!”