IU Indiana Kids program
Over the last year, mentors and staff at IU Northwest have grown a relationship with a student transitioning from high school to college.
And that is exactly what the IU Indiana Kids program seeks to recreate.
Program coordinator James Wallace first met the student as a high school senior last year. The student has now enrolled in IU Northwest after going through a summer program his office offers to prepare students for the academic writing, English, communication and math skills needed for college.
The student has remained connected to his office, having bi-weekly meetings with an academic advisor, who connects her with any programs on campus that could help her be successful.
“We need to duplicate that. We’ve done it once, and now it needs to happen again and again,” James said.
James hopes to be able to build that relationship with more students, and continues to try to build the campus’ Indiana Kids program through emails, presentations and face-to-face meetings.
James and his six mentors are hitting the pavement to connect with multiple schools, especially charter schools, which can be a challenge since there is no one central office as there are for public school districts.
James connected with the IU School of Education at his campus to present at meetings they were hosting to attract people to their master’s degree program. During those meetings with local school officials, James was able to present information about the Indiana Kids program to multiple schools at one time, and then follow up to grow the connections made.
In August, IU Northwest’s Indiana Kids program hosted a workshop with 31 high school students from 21st Century Charter School enrolled in their dual credit program. They shared information about financial aid and other processes students would need to prepare for college, and promoted the Indiana Kids program.
From that event, 10 students – or about one-third of those who attended – signed up for the Indiana Kids program.
The IU Indiana Kids program, launched from the IUPUI campus, is a collaboration between Serve Indiana and seven Indiana University campuses (IUPUI, IU Bloomington, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast) providing free tutoring, mentoring, college and career resources to students in grades six through twelve.