Ivy Tech Northeast and IPFW receive grant to promote academic success among student service members and veterans

NORTHEAST – Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) received an $88,830 grant from Operation Diploma, an initiative of the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University, and will use it to develop programs and policies designed to boost academic success of student service members and veterans on both campuses for the period beginning July 1, 2011, and ending June 30, 2012.
The grant, made possible with support from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., was part of more than $1 million that MFRI awarded, through its Operation Diploma initiative, to 25 Indiana post-secondary institutions of higher education. The colleges and universities all proposed ways to enhance services at their campuses for the state’s student service members, veterans and their families.

The joint award for IPFW and Ivy Tech will support Jo Vaughan as the coordinator of military student services between both campuses for a second year. Her work will aim to decrease service barriers for military students and increase their access to campus resources. A variety of guest speaker programs, training sessions and direct support services will enable this goal.

“I am very pleased that our efforts have brought us together for another year of collaboration,” Vaughan said. “I look forward to continue working with the student veterans and service members on both campuses.”

IPFW and Ivy Tech are currently planning a joint Military Family Picnic at Ivy Tech’s North Campus patio on Wednesday, August 31 from 2 to 6 p.m. for all of the student service members of both campuses (veterans and their families). Food and music will be provided; agencies from northeast Indiana who provide support services will be in attendance; VFW and American Legion posts will be present; and student affairs office representatives from both campuses will also be available as resources.

Launched with a $5.8 million gift from Lilly Endowment Inc., Operation Diploma empowers Indiana’s post-secondary institutions and student veterans organizations to better serve student service members and veterans entering college for the first time, and those re-entering college after extended service or deployment.
Ivy Tech and IPFW serve hundreds of students who receive educational benefits, which includes student service members, veterans, and their families—236 and 484, respectively.

Since 2009, Operation Diploma has awarded more than $2.4 million to Indiana colleges and universities, who have used the funds to produce more effective and supportive services or expand them for these students. This year, institutions submitted competitive proposals for grants of up $100,000.

“This year’s proposals demonstrate that we are entering a new phase of campus recognition and support,” said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of MFRI.

“Schools are building on their successes to reach for even higher goals and attracting the attention of their neighbor and peer institutions in the process.”

For more information on the Operation Diploma grant, contact Jo Vaughan, military student services coordinator for Ivy Tech–Northeast and IPFW, at 260-481-0207 or vaughanj@ipfw.edu.

About MFRI
The Military Family Research Institute is a research and outreach organization based at Purdue University, supported by Lilly Endowment Inc., the U.S. Department of Defense, and others. Through it, Operation Diploma was created.

About Ivy Tech
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students 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.

About IPFW
Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne is the largest institution of higher learning in northeast Indiana, offering more than 200 prestigious IU and Purdue degrees and certificates. More than 13,000 students of diverse ages, races, and nationalities pursue their education on our 662-acre campus. IPFW combines challenging academic programs with student-centered flexibility at an affordable price. The university’s exemplary standards in teaching and research provide unparalleled value for career preparation and professional development in an ever-changing global market. The university’s commitment to service makes it an economic, cultural, and societal leader in the region. IPFW is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access University accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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