Officials provide new tools to help boost enrollment at other Marion County schools based on Northwest’s success
February 4, 2019 – INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indy Achieves honored Northwest Middle School for successfully enrolling 100 percent of its eligible students in 21st Century Scholars – a feat no other school in Marion County accomplished in 2017. Indy Achieves awarded Principal Phil Shults and counselors with a trophy as Marion County Champion for top enrollment numbers on the first day of National School Counseling Week. Northwest Middle School’s success is at the core of a new online enrollment toolkit and additional staff support available from Mayor Hogsett and Indy Achieves to all Marion County schools. These resources are designed to help increase the number of applicants taking advantage of financial aid offered by 21st Century Scholars.
Currently Indiana’s most generous early commitment college promise program, 21st Century Scholars is an underutilized financial aid resource in Marion County with just 51 percent of eligible students enrolling to receive aid. Indy Achieves, housed at EmployIndy, is Mayor Joe Hogsett’s comprehensive education program established to make postsecondary degrees and credentials available to every Indianapolis resident. Key to reaching that mission is increasing efforts to help Marion County middle schools boost applications in 21st Century Scholars.
“As we continue to see the skills gap in Indianapolis increase at an alarming rate, we must remain committed to working harder, smarter, and more efficiently to ensure every student has access to the resources necessary to attain a postsecondary education, including financial aid,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Our schools are vital to students and their families, which is why we not only find it important to celebrate successes like Northwest Middle School, but to learn from them. Their success can help us, and others, think creatively and strategically about how we can enroll more students in 21st Century Scholars.”
Household size and income are used to determine eligibility for 21st Century Scholars. Families must enroll before June 30 following the student’s eighth grade year, and students must graduate high school with at least a 2.5 GPA. The 21st Century Scholars program will award students up to approximately $10,000 annually for postsecondary education, which reflects the maximum tuition and fees for Indiana’s public colleges.
“The 21st Century Scholars program represents a significant ongoing commitment to ensure that every Hoosier student has access to the opportunities a college degree provides if they work hard in school,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We know that the efforts of school counselors and teachers are essential in spreading the word about our state financial aid programs and we are encouraged by the results of Northwest Middle School.”
“The innovative approach used by our school counselors at Northwest Middle School to ensure every student was contacted and every parent called, that home visits were made and incentives were awarded in order to achieve 100 percent enrollment in 21st Century Scholars, is truly to be commended,” said IPS Interim Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “I applaud the efforts of the student services department and the entire school staff for making the dream of college a reality for all students regardless of individual barriers. I hope our best practices can be helpful to other schools.”
Through this effort, Indy Achieves is working to marshal additional resources, helping to provide school counselors with best practices for encouraging enrollment in their own schools. The Indy Achieves 21st Century Scholars Enrollment Toolkit includes steps for tracking eligible students, templates and resources, online links to valuable documents and Indy Achieves contact information. The information in the toolkit was gleaned from Marion County’s top schools enrolling 21st Century Scholars, including Northwest Middle School, and is designed to universally share tactics that have provided the best outcome for enrollment.
In addition to the Indy Achieves 21st Century Scholars Enrollment Toolkit, Marion County schools can receive staff support so that counselors can focus on outreach and lean on Indy Achieves to administer the data input.
For more information about Indy Achieves or the 21st Century Scholars Enrollment Toolkit, visit www.indyachieves.org.
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett joined leaders from Indy Achieves and Enroll Indy, as well as the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, to announce a unique partnership to streamline the 21st Century Scholars enrollment process for Indianapolis families.
For the first time, families of current 7th and 8th grade students completing Enroll Indy’s OneMatch application will be prompted to sign up for in 21st Century Scholars, a need- based early promise program that provides students up to four years of undergraduate tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana. In 2017, only 52% of eligible Marion County 8th grade students enrolled in 21st Century Scholars. Hoping to engage more eligible students, this partnership between Indy Achieves and Enroll Indy strives to make the process easier for families.
The announcement was made at Enroll Indy’s year-one recap event at The Sol Center
Mayor Hogsett introduces the Indy Achieves / Enroll Indy partnership
Indy Achieves Executive Director Matt Impink and Enroll Indy Founder Executive Director Caitlin Hannon
“Today’s partnership advances the work we have been doing with the Indy Achieves program,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “We understand Indianapolis and its residents greatly benefit when everyone has the opportunity to obtain a quality education. It is my hope that this new partnership will continue to eliminate barriers, and increase our educational attainment rate.”
“Two of Enroll Indy’s core values are equitable access and community partnerships,” noted Enroll Indy Founder and Executive Director, Caitlin Hannon. “We believe that by forging strong partnerships throughout the city, we will reach more families and create more opportunities for all students. By working with Indy Achieves, we hope that families will take advantage of programs that will support their children beyond high school graduation.”
Statewide, 20,000 21st Century Scholars are enrolled in Indiana colleges and more than 100,000 are currently in the pipeline for postsecondary education. “Our most recent data indicate that 82 percent of all 21st Century Scholars go directly to college after completing high school and more Scholars are completing college than ever,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We have seen the success of the program in the lives of graduates and must continue our efforts at the state, county and school levels to enroll all eligible students.”
In addition to the announcement of today’s partnership, Enroll Indy launched Year Two of its OneMatch web-based application process and presented Year One results today. OneMatch serves more than 100 K-12 Indianapolis Public Schools and charter schools, and in its first year, OneMatch received more than 9,000 applications to Indianapolis schools. Students and their families can access applications online today at http://enrollindy.org/onematch/apply/.
EmployIndy posted its 2017-18 Annual Report on September 25th, showcasing the accomplishments of the first year of work of our five-year strategic plan. Read the intro letter from our President & CEO, Angela Carr Klitzsch below – and be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to get EmployIndy info like this directly to your inbox.
ADVANCING THE WORKFORCE
Dear Ecosystem Partners, Supporters, and Influencers,
September annually celebrates and honors American workers and their impact on the well-being of our country. We at EmployIndy follow suit to commemorate another year advancing local workers on pathways that ensure self-sufficiency.
EmployIndy plays a pivotal role in the prosperity of our city’s economy and its underserved and underrepresented residents. Leading EmployIndy through notable transition to streamline investment towards a strategy of youth development, neighborhood prioritization and place-based workforce development, and career pathway creation for low- to mid-skilled residents, has been both gratifying and a worthy challenge.
The Marion County Workforce Ecosystem is made up of many unique stakeholders – the work of an intermediary to coordinate these critical partners is no small task. Parts of this local system have historically been fragmented, and our focus in year one of EmployIndy’s five-year Strategic Plan has been on building organizational capacity to unify and advance the system. In year two EmployIndy will continue increasing investment in programs, providers, and initiatives that ensure inclusion and equity to effectively increase labor participation as the economy continues to grow.