By Amy Conrad Warner, Vice Chancellor for the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement
Over the last 50 years, plenty has changed on IUPUI’s campus in order to keep up with the demands of our students and an ever-changing workforce. Both on and off campus, you can see examples of how we are preparing students for a 21st Century workforce.
You see it in the annual JagStart Student Idea Pitch Competition, which in recent years has supported the creation of new technology that makes reading books more engaging, helps people moderate their use of Smartphones, and offers artificial intelligence services to small businesses.
As we celebrated 7,122 new graduates on May 11, IUPUI continues to look to the needs of the workforce to drive decisions made about the classes and resources offered to students.
The new Graduate Certificate in Medical Management, developed in response to the needs of the industry, provides business training to health care providers so they can both manage and improve patient care.
IUPUI’s newest building, Innovation Hall, is being built to meet the evolving teaching and research needs for programs in the Purdue School of Science, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, and IU School of Informatics and Computing.
And the support offered to students on campus helps them excel. Fifty students recently honored with the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallions are already contributing to their communities’ needs, including coordinating educational programs for Latino youth, connecting communities with resources to treat addiction and helping communities plan for disasters.
Our reach goes far outside of campus.
You see it outside in the Innovation Gateways IU supports, including a partnership with The Union525, which offers space for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow and encourages connection and collaboration to accelerate research and innovation.
And you see it in our multiple partnerships with schools across the city, with the goal of making college more accessible to all students.
Through Upward Bound, high school students get access to tutors, mentors, workshops, college tours and can participate in a leadership program to help them prepare for the jump from high school to college.
But getting students here isn’t the only challenge; IUPUI also wants to help our students persist to graduation.
That’s why we offer the THRIVE Program, which includes multiple resources for our first-year students, including a summer program to assist them in preparing for college and the level of work expected, along with mentoring, trips into the community, opportunities to live near their peers and help with finding a job.
Through all this work, our goal as an anchor institution is to drive a shift in thinking, proving the value anchor institutions like IUPUI offer by making higher education accessible to all students, while also making sure those learners are being prepared for the careers of the future.