Indiana University South Bend an engine for local growth, innovation

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A public university is an important community anchor, providing access to higher education opportunities and partnerships that stimulate local economic, social, civic and creative endeavors. Indiana University South Bend is the only public university in this region and is a fundamental engine for local growth and innovation. One of the ways we live our mission is to provide access to post-secondary education opportunities to members of our community who dream of a better life for themselves and their families.

Students love Ivory Woods, majoring in social work. IU South Bend is proud to support Ivory and other Pell Grant recipients with excellent, affordable academic programs and the opportunity to secure a better financial future. In fact, in the latest US News Best Colleges ranking, IU South Bend dropped from 50th to 25th place in social mobility among regional public universities in the Midwest. This recognizes the good graduation rates among students who receive Pell scholarships. More than 33% of the IUSB’s student body are Pell scholarship recipients, up almost 8% this year.

IU South Bend is also part of our local 21st Century Scholar Success initiative, which is organized to dramatically increase the number of low-income students who get high-paying jobs in our area by earning post-secondary degrees. IU South Bend currently has over 350 21st Century Fellows, the largest in our region, students like Kevin Lopez, a dental hygiene student. We have successful coaches who dedicate themselves to 21st century academics, create new programs and enhance the academics experience at IU South Bend.

Another group we are proud to support are our veteran students. Between 300 and 400 veterans study at the IUSB. Sailor Davis-York is a nursing student serving in the Indiana National Guard. Sailor graduated from high school to complete her training so that she could both graduate with a four-year degree and serve her country. His unit was activated during a COVID mission last year, operating test sites and helping in nursing homes and prisons. Our recent designation as a Military-Friendly Campus recognizes our commitment to serving those who serve our country. We have seen a 6% increase in the number of veteran undergraduate students this year alone.

However, providing these opportunities is only part of the equation in building a more vital and stable community. In 2019, 40% of adults aged 25 to 64 in St. Joseph County earned an associate’s degree or higher. This is well below the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s target of 60% by 2025. The more people who graduate from post-secondary education, the better off we are. that company. When we close education attainment gaps related to race, class and gender, society wins too, a recent report says. Tax revenues and GDP increase while spending on criminal justice, public health and public assistance decreases. Annual individual incomes and potential savings increase and the income gaps experienced by minorities and women are narrowed, creating additional economic and social mobility for individuals and their families. A recent study on the economic impact of IU South Bend found that students like Ivory, Sailor and Kevin who graduate will see their earnings increase by $ 21,000 each year compared to a Hoosier with a degree. high school, and one in 77 jobs in our North Central Indiana service region is impacted by university operations. And 65% of IU South Bend graduate students stay here as medical professionals, business leaders, educators, social workers, artists, government officials and more.

Talent and economic development, social mobility, a post-secondary education and a vibrant local economy: these are just some of the reasons IU South Bend is here. We started our journey as the only public university in this region with these core values ​​and they are even more relevant today. We are grateful for the partnership of so many in our region and look forward to continuing this journey with you.

Susan Elrod is Chancellor of Indiana University at South Bend.

This article originally appeared on the South Bend Tribune: IUSB Provides Access to Post-Secondary Opportunities for the Community


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