Higher Education Commission Awards $255,000 in Adult Promise Grants

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Three universities and one non-profit organization have been awarded funding through the fall 2019 Adult Promise Grant by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to pursue, expand and enhance promising practices for supporting Indiana’s adult learner populations at the state’s colleges and universities.

Funded by the Lumina Foundation, the grants are designed to significantly increase the number of adult Hoosiers with a postsecondary credential by developing easy-to-use resources and sharing best practices to serve adult learners.

“Focusing on Indiana’s adult learner population is critical for moving the state closer to our 2025 goal of 60 percent of Hoosiers with quality education and training beyond high school,” said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education. “The recipients of these grants are concentrating on removing the barriers along the way for adult learners. We are pleased to see a variety of plans to engage adults, community partners, employers and industry in their work.” 

Preference was given to providers who participate in the state’s “adult promise” financial aid program, the Workforce Ready Grant. Eligibility requirements for the grant included Indiana institutions that administer state financial aid and community-based organizations focused on educational attainment. The grant period ends March 2020.

Recipients of the fall 2019 grants:

Ivy Tech Community College: $167,230
The Ivy Tech Community College Office of Career Development will place a renewed emphasis on incorporating career readiness practices into the academic experience and will help students secure work-and-learn experiences and employment through a three-pronged strategy. Students will engage early and often with the Office of Career Development; commence a Career Action Plan, which includes a resume, interview preparation, employability skills and more; and students will utilize labor market data related to their chosen field of study and report positive career outcomes through a survey.

Pass The Torch for Women Foundation: $50,000
Pass the Torch for Women Foundation will advance the mission and model of the Project Grow program, which serves female college students in Indiana. The grant will enable the Foundation to expand its reach to serve female college students through innovative approaches in technology, deliverability and programming. The outcome will be the creation of an additional support system for students as they navigate through their educational experience, transition to a four-year institution or enter the workforce.

Indiana University Kokomo: $24,120
Indiana University Kokomo will develop ongoing partnerships with industries in the region to promote the Adult Promise opportunities among employees, providing them with advanced training in 21st century technologies and by engaging employers – particularly those offering tuition reimbursement as an employee benefit. Efforts will design a scalable outreach program for other universities to apply in their own regions to pursue and build collaborations with industries in their area.

Anderson University: $13,650
Anderson University proposes strategies to improve retention and success of adult students who are embarking on or returning to an academic experience that will help them meet their personal and professional goals. By creating a location on campus to better serve adult learners, Anderson University would provide access to an adult student success coach, a lounge space for adult students, regular family night events on campus, as well as a focus on academic and mental health, the expansion of a library of resources available for adult students and increased programming for the Office of Adult Student Experience.

About the Indiana Commission for Higher Education
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is a 14-member public body created in 1971 to define the missions of Indiana’s colleges and universities, plan and coordinate the state’s postsecondary education system, and ensure that Indiana’s higher education system is aligned to meet the needs of students and the state. The Commission includes representatives from each Congressional district, three at-large members, a college faculty representative and a college student representative. Learn more about the Commission’s Reaching Higher, Delivering Value strategic plan at www.in.gov/che/.