Recent News & Blog

Posted on April 16th, 2020 in Press Releases Tags: , ,
With the approaching June 30 deadline, the initiative pivots to continue supporting Marion County students virtually

 

INDIANAPOLIS – APRIL 17, 2020 – Indy Achieves recruitment for the 21st Century Scholars program will occur exclusively online now that schools are closed for the remainder of the school year in adherence with Governor Eric Holcomb and Mayor Joe Hogsett’s COVID-19 executive orders.

The 21st Century Scholars program is an early college promise program administered by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE). It offers income-eligible Hoosier students up to four years of paid tuition at an eligible Indiana college or university after high school graduation and completion of Scholar program requirements. Students must enroll in the program by the June 30 application deadline following the students’ 8th grade year.

Indy Achieves recruitment strategy has included school visits with the help of school counselors and the use of traditional paper applications. Now that schools will remain closed through the remainder of the application period, Indy Achieves will promote a digital application, creating easy, online and mobile-friendly access for families. This innovative approach has been made possible by the School and Community Partnership Grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Families can visit www.indyachieves.org/21cs or simply text “college” or “universidad” to 404-58 to begin filing the application in English or Spanish.

“For many individuals, the economic impact of COVID-19 will last beyond the June 30 21st Century Scholars application deadline. While we are all focusing on the here and now, it is important to make sure we are still looking to the future,” said Matt Impink, EmployIndy’s executive director of Indy Achieves. “This is why we are asking our partners, stakeholders, and fellow community members to continue promoting this opportunity to springboard many of our students to success in college by covering their tuition and providing wrap around supports.”

Indy Achieves is asking the community to act as messengers and share this opportunity widely across their networks by following Indy Achieves on Facebook and Twitter @indyachieves and sharing content using the hashtag #21stCenturyScholars.


Posted on November 19th, 2019 in Press Releases Tags: , , ,

Indy Achieves mentorship program application opens to mentors for the 2020 cohort of Ivy Tech and IUPUI students

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – 19 November 2019 – As of today, community leaders, educators, and business partners are welcome to apply to become an Indy Achieves mentor for the 2020 cohort of incoming Ivy Tech and IUPUI students. As an integral initiative overseen by EmployIndy, Mayor Hogsett’s Indy Achieves provides resources that help fight the growing rate of poverty in Indianapolis. Offering this support to students as they transition into postsecondary education establishes a pathway to success for those who may have not persisted.

“We are committed to helping students achieve their educational goals by providing them with the guidance and mentorship needed to reach those next steps,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “With this vital support, we are all working together to remove barriers to postsecondary education for Marion County residents and ultimately improving the future for all of Indianapolis.”

When looking further down the road, the hope is that the mentorship program will have a positive impact on the completion rates as students receive the support necessary to persist through their degree or certification. This program uses a two-way text message system that focuses on engaging, supporting, and informing Marion County students as they pursue their path to enrolling in a postsecondary degree or certification. Conversation includes information about filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), registering for the first day of classes, navigating campus resources, connecting with academic advisors, and more.

“Last year, over 400 students went through the mentorship program alongside 100 dedicated mentors,” said Yecenia Tostado, Associate Director of Indy Achieves. “We are working to grow the number of Marion County residents who register as mentees with hopes to have an even greater influence on individuals successfully making the transition into postsecondary education.”

One of the most common obstacles that students face is “summer melt” – a phenomenon that occurs during the time between applying for school and showing up the following semester. Research finds that one in five college-bound high school graduates who have been accepted to and intend to enroll in college fail to show up on the first day of class due to unforeseen challenges they encounter during the summer months. This jumps to two in five students in underserved areas.

If you would like to apply to be an Indy Achieves mentor to help close the gap, please fill out the form on indyachieves.org/mentor. If mentorship isn’t the best way for you or your organization to engage with students, EmployIndy’s Talent Bound program houses many other opportunities such as hosting site tours, job shadows, internships, and more. To get involved in any of these ways, please visit talentbound.org.


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.