Ivy Tech Community College awarded nearly $500,000 in grants

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College was recently awarded nearly $500,000 in grants focusing on the recruitment and retention of female faculty, as well as strengthening undergraduate instruction in foreign languages and international studies.

Ivy Tech was awarded a $157,945 National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Catalyst grant, based on the college’s “Increasing the Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)  at Indiana’s Community College System” project called ivyWiSTEM, which will support self-assessment activities in order to identify specific issues in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of female STEM full-time and adjunct faculty throughout the Ivy Tech system.

Research indicates community colleges generally employ larger numbers of female full-time and adjunct faculty than four-year institutions. At Ivy Tech, nearly 70 percent of full-time and more than 60 percent of adjunct non-STEM faculty are female. However, less than 35 percent of full-time and adjunct faculty within the STEM disciplines are female.

An internal advisory board has been created to assist in promoting participation in ivyWiSTEM activities across the College’s regions and STEM disciplines. Data collection and analysis, along with the establishment of focus groups, professional development events, and identification of external best practices, will enable Ivy Tech to identify variances in recruitment and retention of female STEM faculty.

As Indiana’s statewide community college system, Ivy Tech has the ability to impact all regions of Indiana through the ivyWiSTEM initiative. Further, the methods employed in this initiative will be developed to be scalable and replicable to other community colleges and systems across the United States.

Principal Investigator for this initiative, Dr. Joyce Wilkerson, from Ivy Tech’s East Central region is uniquely positioned to lead this effort with experience as a STEM dean, former program chair, faculty, and adjunct faculty member.

Ivy Tech was also awarded a $334,603 grant under the U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program in partnership with Indiana University Bloomington. Funding will support a three-year initiative to strengthen undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages at Ivy Tech’s 14 regions statewide. Funding will support a three-year initiative to strengthen and increase internationalization of Ivy Tech courses statewide in an effort to ensure Ivy Tech graduates will be competitive in today’s global workforce.

UISFL funding will enable Ivy Tech to develop a system-wide Global Learning Certificate, consisting of a variety of internationalized and foreign language courses, career training, and an experiential global learning component. Emphasis for this Certificate will be placed on courses from the fields of business, education, healthcare, technology, and the life sciences—high-growth sectors of the economy and areas in which students critically need global perspectives and competencies. Through this award, Ivy Tech will also have the ability to offer Modern Standard Arabic language instruction statewide, representing another vital component in achieving global competency among its graduates and transfers.

Ivy Tech will partner with the Indiana University Center for the Study of the Middle East and the Center for the Study of Global Change at Indiana University to assist with the implementation of the Global Learning Certificate and Arabic language courses. These partnerships will also be vital to the professional development component of the project, in which Ivy Tech faculty and administrators will create benchmarks and assessments to measure progress and outcomes of the initiative, while also developing outreach and marketing to raise awareness of the new Global Learning Certificate.

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.

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