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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!”


Data warehouse to be built to monitor student success and expand general knowledge of population being served

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – 6 August 2019 – The Indianapolis Foundation, a Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) affiliate, has awarded Indy Achieves $40,000 to invest towards building a data warehouse. With these resources, Indy Achieves, an initiative launched by Mayor Joe Hogsett and administered by EmployIndy, will build a data tracking tool to identify Marion County residents who are at risk of educational remediation and/or uninformed about available financial postsecondary opportunities.

“We support this project’s initiative to get students in the pipeline early, and keep them in the pipeline,” said Andrew Black, director of community leadership for CICF. “Because of this data, we can help more students graduate on time and access programs, like 21st Century Scholars, that make obtaining postsecondary credentials possible.” 

Set to be launched this fall, this secure data-tracking warehouse will be utilized exclusively by EmployIndy, the organization that houses the Indy Achieves initiative, and can break down pre-existing barriers by receiving, combining and exporting specific data, such as identifying individuals who qualify for 21st Century Scholars. With this information, Indy Achieves is able to connect with qualifying families, provide programmatic clarity, and sign them up for applicable opportunities.

“We understand that outreach must begin early, with students and families in K-12, to ensure critical growth of Marion County’s workforce and the future success of our young people,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This data will make it possible to focus on youth who can benefit from Indy Achieves in order to pave the way to the postsecondary credentials needed in the 21st century economy.”

EmployIndy will also be able to utilize the data to inform when and how to intervene with students. By establishing the necessary infrastructure to safely secure and maintain the data gathered in the local, state and national level, Indy Achieves can act quickly before students fall through the cracks and are at risk of completion. This system makes it possible to proactively identify issues with students so that schools and community partners can intervene in real time. Indy Achieves will seek out schools to pilot early warning intervention systems to address common attributes of students who get off track at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels. Triggering early intervention will plug the leaky pipeline into postsecondary education and the workforce.

“The data warehouse enhances our ability to serve Marion County residents by not only identifying at-risk individuals, but providing a method for us to reach them before they fall too far,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy. “This early warning will allow for individualized intervention and will undoubtedly improve retention rates in the K-12 space as well as at the postsecondary level.”

Utilizing this intervention strategy aligns with other EmployIndy initiatives to improve skills attainment and create positive outcomes for young people. By quickly investing in a population that trickles out of the education system, it is possible to increase on-time postsecondary completion rates, first semester retention, and track those who have been involved in work experiences, such as internships. This will shrink the skills gap and ultimately build up the workforce in Indianapolis.

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About Indy Achieves
Indy Achieves is a program created by Mayor Joe Hogsett that aims to ensure that every Indianapolis resident has the ability to pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree program. To accomplish this, Indy Achieves seeks to increase the number of individuals who apply for existing financial aid programs such as 21st Century Scholars and FAFSA as well as provide Indy Achieves Promise Scholarships and wraparound support services for Marion County students who attend Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI. Learn more about the Indy Achieves initiative at indyachieves.org.

About EmployIndy
EmployIndy guides the local workforce ecosystem and makes strategic investments to remove barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents. As the workforce development board for Marion County, guided by 21 business, civic, education and nonprofit community leaders, EmployIndy invests $20 million in public, private and philanthropic funds for both youth and adults annually. Learn more about EmployIndy at employindy.org.

About Indiana 21st Century Scholars
The 21st Century Scholars program was established in 1990 to increase students’ aspirations for and access to higher education. The program provides income-eligible students the opportunity to earn a scholarship that covers up to four years of tuition and regularly assessed fees. 21st Century Scholars supports eligible students and parents with the tools they need to prepare for college, graduate on time and begin a successful career. The scholarship is awarded on an annual basis. Learn more at www.scholars.in.gov.

About Indianapolis Foundation
The Indianapolis Foundation was founded in 1916 and is an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). As Indiana’s oldest and largest community foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation is governed by a board of six publicly-appointed directors and awards approximately $7 million annually focused on creating neighborhoods and environments that empower people, changing systems that unfairly hold people back, and dismantling systemic racism. The mobilizes people, ideas and investments to ensure that the quality of life in Marion County continuously improves; to help where the needs are greatest and the benefits to the community are most extensive; and to provide donors a vehicle for using their gifts in the best possible way now, and in the future.


Indy Achieves lands grant to support students at Ivy Tech Community College and IUPUI

Indianapolis – July 10, 2019 – In the fall of 2018, Indy Achieves was awarded a $100,000 grant from Lumina Foundation to support the hiring of two Student Success Coaches, one who would be based at Ivy Tech Community College and another at IUPUI. These coaches will work closely with the students at each location in order to provide them with additional academic resources and tools to ensure a meaningful postsecondary experience and completion. 

Indy Achieves will be utilizing this funding to mirror best practices of Lumina’s adult promise work to improve education levels beyond high school and guiding career pathways for individual success. With the constant struggle of retention and on-time completion, schools are looking for new ways to improve the number of graduates while also giving them the skills to succeed after graduation as they enter the workforce. 

“We’re pleased to support Indy Achieves’ efforts to guide students to success beyond high school as a key effort in increasing our nation’s attainment rate,” said Tim Robinson, assistant vice president of operations and grants administration at Lumina. “We hope that lessons learned here and from other Lumina-supported efforts for mentoring will provide a model for others across the country.”

The two Student Success Coaches, Alina Zayas (embedded at IUPUI) and Caitlin Diehl (embedded at Ivy Tech), will be joining teams providing academic and career support at each campus as they oversee 200 Indy Achieves Promise Scholarship recipients. The Promise Scholarship provides additional needs-based funding in order to remove financial barriers to retention and graduation. 

“The career connections that Indy Achieves and EmployIndy bring to the table are game-changers for our students and reinforce IUPUI’s position as Indiana’s premier urban public university,” said Amy Conrad Warner, IUPUI Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement. “We are committed to providing educational opportunities that transform the lives of our students, our community, and the changing world around us.”

In addition to providing financial assistance, the Student Success Coaches will be assisting students by navigating campus systems, identifying internal and external resources, and exploring career pathways. This will provide much needed support to those in the cohort to grow their skill sets, obtain a postsecondary credential, and prepare them for the workforce. 

“Retention and on-time completion are top priorities at Ivy Tech Community College,” said Kathy Lee, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis. “Adding the student success coaches will help take our support to the next level so our students are set up for great careers to meet the demands of our employer partners.”

EmployIndy, the organization that houses Indy Achieves, will support programmatic growth by introducing students to different work-based learning opportunities, thus establishing and furthering employer connections. Indy Achieves aims to not only assist students in earning their credential on time, but to arm them with the skills needed to make them more marketable to employers post-graduation.

“EmployIndy and Indy Achieves are doing more than encouraging students to graduate,” said Yecenia Tostado, Associate Director of Indy Achieves. “We are providing them the skills and connections to excel far beyond graduation. These individual experiences will have a direct impact on the Indianapolis community at large as each student discovers where the needs of employers and their talents overlap – ultimately leading to personal and professional success.”

By providing academic supports such as playing the role as advisor and assisting with co-requisite remediation, the Student Success Coaches are working to remove barriers and more as they establish pathways for individual success, falling in line with EmployIndy’s strategic goal of creating positive trajectories for young adults to achieve and maintain promising careers.

Learn more about Indy Achieves at indyachieves.org.

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About Indy Achieves
Indy Achieves is an initiative created by Mayor Joe Hogsett that aims to ensure that every Indianapolis resident has the ability to pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree program. To accomplish this, Indy Achieves seeks to increase the number of individuals who apply for existing financial aid programs such as 21st Century Scholars and FAFSA as well as provide Indy Achieves Promise Scholarships and wraparound support services for Marion County students who attend Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI. Learn more about the Indy Achieves initiative at indyachieves.org.

About EmployIndy
EmployIndy guides the local workforce ecosystem and makes strategic investments to remove barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents. As the workforce development board for Marion County, guided by 21 business, civic, education and nonprofit community leaders, EmployIndy invests $20 million in public, private and philanthropic funds for both youth and adults annually. Learn more about EmployIndy at employindy.org.

About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.