State Calls on Students to Take a ‘Roadtrip’ to Career Success

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has announced a new initiative, “Roadtrip Indiana,” that aims to help Hoosier students make more informed decisions about their futures through intentional career exploration and direct engagement with employers across the state.

“Our goal with ‘Roadtrip Indiana’ is two-fold: empowering our students to find their career paths while showcasing the dynamic range of job opportunities right here in Indiana,” said Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. The effort is being launched as part of the state’s annual “Career Ready” campaign that promotes greater career exploration and work-based learning opportunities for Hoosier students.

Developed as part of the long-running Public Television program Roadtrip Nation, the Roadtrip Indiana spin-off will follow three Hoosier students on a journey across Indiana as they explore their career interests through interviews with employers in a variety of high-growth sectors. The Roadtrip Indiana initiative will also include classroom resources for schools and a Roadtrip Nation “Share Your Road” platform to engage more employers in sharing their stories.

Students interested in joining the Indiana Roadtrip can apply online through May 22. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and pursuing – or planning to pursue – some form of education or training beyond high school (two- or four-year college, vocational school, trade school, etc.). Applicants must be available to commit to two weeks of travel in August 2017. All travel expenses, plus a daily stipend for food, are paid for by Roadtrip Nation.

Indiana road-trippers will be selected in July 2017, and the two-week trip across Indiana in Roadtrip Nation’s iconic, green RV will take place in August. The documentary will air on public television in 2018, with footage also appearing on other video platforms. The state will begin engaging Indiana employers to contribute to the online “Share Your Road” platform this coming fall, with the classroom resources available to local schools beginning in 2018.

Roadtrip Indiana Partners
Led by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Roadtrip Indiana is made possible with business, government and philanthropic support. Roadtrip Indiana partners include the Strada Education Network, Cummins, First Source Bank, TechPoint, EmployIndy, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

About the Career Ready Campaign
Career Ready is an annual public awareness campaign that kick offs each spring to engage Hoosier students in meaningful career exploration activities and work-based learning experiences – like internships – that help them prepare for the future. Educators, local businesses and community partners can take advantage of the free Career Ready resources available online.

About Roadtrip Nation
Roadtrip Nation, known for its New York Times best-selling career guide, award-winning television series, extensive online content archive and innovative classroom curriculum, is a career exploration organization that empowers people to define their own roads in life. Combining self-reflection with real-world exposure, Roadtrip Nation’s tools enable individuals to connect their interests to compatible life pathways and find meaningful work. Learn more at RoadtripNation.com and RoadtripNation.org.

Important New Teacher Scholarship Now Available

A program the Indiana Chamber advocated for to assist with the potential teacher shortages is now accepting applications.

The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship allows the Commission for Higher Education to award college scholarships for up to 200 of the best and brightest future teachers. These students must have graduated in the top 20% of their class and receive the top 20th percentile scores on the SAT/ACT exams.

To continue earning the scholarship in college, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours per year. Current college students are also eligible for the scholarship, but priority will be given to high school students.

Upon graduation, scholarship recipients have the requirement to teach in Indiana for five consecutive years.

The Pence administration set up the program in House Bill 1002 and the Legislature appropriated $10 million in House Bill 1001, authored by House Speaker Brian Bosma.

The Indiana Chamber believes that this legislation is a great first step in recruiting outstanding teachers into the field as well as helping to raise the profession. Excellent teachers lead to strong students, which will eventually lead to talented employees and business leaders.

Visit www.LearnMoreIndiana.org/NextTeacher for more information on the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship and to apply.

The Commission for Higher Education will review applications and notify students selected to receive a scholarship by April 15, 2017.

Chamber on Higher Ed Commission’s New Rule to Boost Associates Degrees

96631972The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE) today approved allowing the state’s four-year universities to grant associate degrees to qualifying students and released an evaluation of Ivy Tech Community College (a result of 2015 state legislation). Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar reacts to both items:

“Postsecondary attainment continues to be a major concern for the state. The goal we set in our Indiana Vision 2025 long-range economic development plan was for 60% of our residents to have a quality credential or a degree by that time; currently that number is under 35%.

“A critical piece of the solution is granting more associate degrees for students with the appropriate credit; that’s a policy we designated as a top legislative priority in the 2016 General Assembly. The rule CHE passed today can go a long way toward achieving that goal.

“Now, Indiana’s state-supported four-year universities will have the opportunity to award associate degrees to its students who clearly are no longer pursuing their education (termed “stop-out” students) but already have completed the appropriate coursework.

“This will make those students more marketable to employers and may even lead some to rekindle their learning at the college level.”

On Ivy Tech performance report:

“With today’s workforce skills challenges, the importance of the Ivy Tech mission has never been greater. This evaluation of student outcomes and recommended program enhancements will only serve to increase the effectiveness of Indiana’s community college system.

“Given the continuous improvement model that is essential for all educators and businesses, we applaud the work that has been done and we are confident Ivy Tech leaders will use the information to benefits its students and all stakeholders.”

GUEST BLOG: Women’s Colleges Provide Advantageous Learning Environment

The following is a guest post from Dottie L. King, Ph.D., president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College:

At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC), we affirm that a women’s college is more than relevant today. In this single-gender environment, the lines are purposefully blurred between college preparation and preparation for life making a women’s college a wise and practical choice.
 
According to the Women’s College Coalition, graduates of women’s colleges tend to hold higher positions in careers and obtain a larger percentage of advanced degrees than women who attended coeducational schools. Because women’s colleges emphasize individual thought and student leadership, graduates have higher self-esteem, confidence and aspirations that make these outcomes possible.
 
Opportunities at SMWC for the development of leadership skills in and out of the classroom are limitless, preparing students for the wide range of responsibilities they will undertake long after graduation. Our female students fill all student leadership roles on campus. They lead classroom discussions, student government, laboratory experiments and community-based initiatives. Having consistent access to a wide variety of successful female role models of faculty, administrators and alumnae tends to increase the aspirations and career achievements of female college students. 
 
Additionally, student participation in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is also a place where SMWC and many other women’s colleges excel.

In 2010, the American Association of University Women issued a report titled “Why So Few?” detailing women’s under representation in the STEM fields.  If girls grow up in an environment that cultivates their success in science and math, they are more likely to develop their skills as well as their confidence and consider a future in a STEM field.

We strongly agree that learning environment influences an individual’s mindset and that is one of the reasons we believe that a women’s college is an intelligent and rational choice for those who seek a supportive growth environment.
 
The results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Women’s College Coalition indicate students who attend a women’s college are:

  1. enrolled in the traditionally-male disciplines of math, science, and engineering in higher percentages
  2. more likely to experience high levels of academic challenge
  3. promote a multifaceted understanding of diversity
  4. engaged to a higher degree in active and collaborative learning
  5. experiencing frequent and extensive interaction with faculty
  6. participating in activities that integrate their classroom and outside of classroom experiences more than their counterparts at coeducational institutions
  7. reporting greater gains of self-confidence and self-understanding, and
  8. more likely to graduate and more than twice as likely as female graduates of coeducational institutions to earn doctoral degrees. 

In our 171-year tradition of commitment to the education of women in our campus program at SMWC, graduating students must be proficient critical thinkers and effective communicators. We want students to conceptualize, apply concepts, analyze, synthesize and evaluate as the preliminary to reaching to a conclusion or a judgment.
 
We strive for our students to learn about the integrity of personal power through the friction of intellectual discovery and accomplishment. Our goal also is to inspire our students to examine issues and events from ethical and spiritual perspectives. It is not our role to tell them what to think or what informed opinion to advocate, but it is our responsibility to provide an environment in which they can explore analytical skills from multiple perspectives.
 
So, yes, we are extremely proud of the role of women’s colleges and SMWC. Specifically, we demonstrate our ability to remain true to our mission while evolving in response to an ever-changing society. For those who seek a progressive learning environment with the maximum potential to fully develop their spiritual, intellectual and leadership abilities, we confidently suggest that a women’s college, such as SMWC, is a vibrant, powerful and providential choice.