INDIANAPOLIS -- Community organizations from Putnam County are invited to participate in a statewide effort designed to help Hoosier students and adults enter and succeed in college.
Made possible by Indiana's Learn More Indiana partnership, the initiative is part of a comprehensive effort to increase the percentage of Hoosiers who attend college and complete a college certificate or degree within four years.
"College completion has a significant impact on the quality of life and future earnings for Hoosiers," said Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. "We recognize that rallying community organizations around the common goal of college success is critical to meeting the education needs of our students and our state."
A steering team from Putnam County will join teams from 20 other Indiana counties at workshops held in Indianapolis during the next few months. Each workshop will focus on one aspect of coalition development.
Steering team members from Putnam County include Tim Bookwalter, Putnam County prosecutor; Bill Dory, Putnam County Economic Development; Tyler Egli, North Putnam High School, guidance; Matt Helmer, Helmer Appraisal; Annette Hoopingarner, Ivy Tech State Community College, admissions ; Michael Nees, Knoy Resource Center; Pastor Matt Nichols, Soul Harvest Church; Elaine Peck, Putnam County Community Foundation; Jack Schroeder, Twenty-first Century Scholars; Toni Tomlinson, Western Indiana Knoy Learning Centers.
Following each workshop, steering team members will return to Putnam County to facilitate discussions with representatives of local member organizations. Members will analyze data for Putnam County provided by Learn More Indiana and establish county goals for college access and success.
Member organizations will also implement college access activities designed to help the county's students and adults take steps that prepare them for college success and open the door to college enrollment.
Local organizations are encouraged to join the county's College Success Coalition.
"We're looking for a variety of coalition members," said Matt Helmer, Steering Committee -Member Recruitment. "Schools, faith-based organizations, youth service organizations, service clubs, businesses, government agencies, libraries and all other organizations interested in helping our community's young people get to college are encouraged to join."
Member organizations will learn about academic rigor, college opportunities, financial aid, and college access mentoring. They will also explore small and comprehensive activities that organizations can implement to help students and adults get to college. College access activities may be as simple as a store placing flyers provided by Learn More Indiana in shopping bags or a scout troop driving through a college campus on the way to a camp outing.
College access activities may also be more comprehensive such as a service club developing a local scholarship foundation or a boys club establishing a college access mentoring program.
Local organizations can join the county College Success Coalition at www.learnmore.org