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Posted on February 2nd, 2021 in Uncategorized Tags: ,

Outlines Indy Achieves and EmployIndy’s plan to assist Indianapolis residents in experiencing economic growth and mobility through pursuit of postsecondary education

View Executive Summary | View Strategic Plan

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!”


Posted on August 20th, 2020 in Press Releases Tags: ,
Indy Achieves completion grants, adult education programs expanded through federal funds

 

INDIANAPOLIS – AUGUST 20, 2020 – Today Mayor Joe Hogsett joined City-County Council President Vop Osili, Ivy Tech Community College Chancellor of Central Indiana Dr. Kathleen Lee, IUPUI Associate Vice Chancellor Boyd Bradshaw, and EmployIndy Chief Operations Officer Marie Mackintosh to call attention to expanded postsecondary education programming made possible through federal CARES Act spending.

“Postsecondary education will be just as big a part of gainful employment post-pandemic as it waspre-pandemic,” said Mayor Hogsett. “If our community is dedicated to a return to an even better Indianapolis, we must find ways to provide a realistic path to prosperity for all residents. Our success as a city depends not just on attracting the business of the future, but on educating the workforce of the future. Today, we take a step toward that goal during a difficult time.”

“The City-County Council is proud to support Indianapolis students and our institutions of learning,” said President Osili. “Quality education is a powerful force for equity, and these education grants will make an incredible difference in the lives of residents from neighborhoods across our city.”

The appropriation included $327,500 for Indy Achieves completion grants, which cover debt, unpaid bursar bills, and other substantial debts preventing IUPUI and Ivy Tech students from continuing their postsecondary education. Students are able to use these newly allocated funds and return for the Fall 2020 term. While the deadline for IUPUI has passed, Marion County residents who want to return and complete their postsecondary degree or credential at Ivy Tech can still request a Reconnect Completion Grant by going to indyachieves.org/completion-grants.

The appropriation also included $1.1 million in additional funding towards Rapid Reskilling Grants to be distributed by EmployIndy to seven local adult education providers. The funds can be used for expenses related to e-learning and short-term postsecondary certifications that lead to better job opportunities. The City had previously allocated $1.5 million towards the program in the June 8 CARES Act package in order to increase the opportunities available to adult students seeking their high school equivalency, high school diploma, or postsecondary certifications. Local partners include Washington Township, Wayne Township, Warren Township, Goodwill Excel Centers, Marian University, Indy Reads, and the YMCA.

“This appropriation allows for individuals to overcome barriers to pursuing and completing their secondary or postsecondary degree, which will better prepare them to land a good job in Indianapolis as the economy recovers,” said Marie Mackintosh. “Adult education providers are now able to serve a wider range of Indianapolis residents and a greater number of Ivy Tech and IUPUI students have the unique opportunity to continue pursuing their degree.”

The City-County Council passed the second package of federal CARES Act funding on August 10, adding $16 million in public health, social service, technological, and economic recovery investments on top of the $76 million allocation passed on June 8.

 


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.