INDIANAPOLIS –Four Ivy Tech Community College regions will receive a $200,000 grant from NASA as part of the Indiana Community College Partnership with Vincennes University and The Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC). The grant is one of 35 awards through the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program, aimed at increasing engagement in STEM-related programs (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) at community colleges and technical schools in the country.
Six Indiana college campuses will participate in the INSGC Community College Partnership, including four Ivy Tech campuses and two Vincennes University campuses. The partnership was created based on gaps identified by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education in Indiana’s STEM workforce preparation and its higher education programs. Ivy Tech will divide its $200,000 share of the grant among campuses in its Central Indiana, Lafayette, Northeast and Wabash Valley regions.
The grant will focus on student recruitment, retention, and mentoring, leading to the completion of an associate degree in a STEM field. The grant will fund scholarships for 10 students per region per year; students in the program will work with success coordinators in their region who will assist these students in career planning and making industry connections. Additionally, students who receive the scholarship will also obtain local, industry-based summer internships that will help them determine their career path.
“Ivy Tech is thrilled to support our STEM students through this partnership with NASA and the Indiana Space Grant Consortium,” Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder said. “This program aims to better prepare our students for high-demand jobs and support our communities across the state by drawing on Indiana’s strengths as a center of industry and STEM careers.”
Part of this partnership specifically involves targeting students in Indianapolis, home of Eli Lilly and Company, for biotechnology careers. It also emphasizes the pre-engineering opportunities in Lafayette and advanced automation and industrial maintenance careers in Wabash Valley. The Northeast region of Indiana is the world’s leading concentration of orthopedic implant companies, so the scholarships in that region will aid in pre-engineering training as well as aviation maintenance technology.
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.