Ivy Tech receives grant to launch new program at two area high schools

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College has received a $720,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to fund a collaborative effort between the College and three other organizations to better prepare students at two IPS high schools for college.

The funds were awarded through IDOE’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program for STEP It Up, a four-year, joint initiative of Ivy Tech, the Indianapolis Urban League, Mt. Carmel Community Life Center and Lost & Found Outreach Services.

More than 50 students at Manual High School and a similar number at Northwest High School are expected to participate in STEP It Up starting in their junior year. The program aims to strengthen students’ skills in reading, writing, and math, while providing character education, mentoring and tutoring support, recreational activities, and career exploration. The program’s circle of support will extend to parents of the students with opportunities to participate in Ivy Tech’s Urban League-based adult college readiness center and access to Ivy Tech’s career counseling services and workforce training programs.

“Our goal is to provide the STEP It Up students with a bridge to college and their futures,” said Dr. Kathleen Lee, interim chancellor of Ivy Tech-Central Indiana. “Through our collaborative efforts, the STEP It Up partners seek to foster student motivation, commitment, and dedication to setting and, more importantly, achieving attainable educational goals.”

The STEP It Up partners will take different leads in the multi-faceted program. Ivy Tech will establish college readiness centers at Manual and Northwest high schools. The Urban League will focus on character education. Lost & Found Outreach Services will provide recreational activities to improve students’ social skills. Mt. Carmel Community Learning Centers will coordinate communication with students’ parents.

The two new college readiness centers will model College Readiness Centers (CRC) operated by Ivy Tech at Arsenal Technical High School and Decatur Central High School. CRCs offer students self-paced, facilitated online learning with a focus on math, reading and writing.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 150,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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