A call to action for public higher education
Deborah J. Curtis
A global pandemic has accelerated the challenges Indiana citizens face as they compete for well-paying jobs that lead to a better quality of life. Work is changing in Indiana and across the United States. Our public higher education institutions are well positioned to strengthen the pool of skilled labor while attracting talent from outside the state. However, we need to do more to help revitalize the state of Indiana to be globally competitive. We must continue to work together to educate and prepare citizens able to take advantage of the opportunities of our state.
We call on Indiana’s public higher education to partner with business, industry and employers to meet the talent needs of this great state. In fulfilling our distinctive mission, Indiana State University is doing its part and earlier this month we announced a bold initiative for the citizens of Indiana. We call it the “Indiana State Advantage,” a unique three-pronged guarantee for a public university in the country and focused on our value proposition of opportunity, quality and affordability. The result of this value proposition is a great career in Indiana.
The Indiana State Advantage offers an experiential guarantee, as each full-time student for the first time starting in the fall of 2022 can claim up to $ 3,000 for an educational experience outside of the classroom – an internship, a study abroad, a research or a service. We do this because we know that graduates who gain important non-classroom experiences are even better prepared for career success. Realizing the potential of this engagement will require business, industry and other employers to welcome these students to their workplaces for internships or other experiential opportunities to close the loop on this important milestone in the future. preparation of graduates ready for work.
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The Indiana State Advantage offers a Tuition Free Guarantee, as we will compensate any difference in tuition fees for students eligible for Indiana State Pell Scholarships who have a GPA of at least 3.0 in high school and have good academic results. Indiana’s talent runs deep, but barriers to accessing high-quality post-secondary education must be removed. We do this because we believe the cost of a college education shouldn’t stop someone from pursuing higher education and achieving the American dream.
The Indiana State Advantage offers a four-year guarantee, as eligible students will be able to complete their bachelor’s degree in four years (or less) or the rest is tuition-free. The extended graduation timeframe is the enemy of completion for many students. We do this because we are committed to helping our students stay focused on academic success in a timely manner.
It’s time for Indiana’s public post-secondary education to work together with our partners in business, industry and other initiatives that work every day to strengthen our economy. This priority of Indiana State University is our pact with our fellow citizens. It augments our work to change lives with innovative academic distance education programs on campus. It complements our continued laser-like focus on providing high quality education, small class sizes, caring teachers, and a culture of inclusion and support. It is driven by our commitment to impart knowledge, inspire lifelong learning, and provide experiences that ensure our students are ready to work after graduation.
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Whether or not you know a lot about Indiana State University, it’s time to take another look. Now more than ever, it is time for public higher education to do more. This is our call to action. In partnership with business and industry, ISU will continue to be the leader in educating Indiana citizens for high paying jobs in Indiana.
Deborah J. Curtis is president of Indiana State University.