For more than 10 years, IUPUI has partnered with a Near West school geared toward students experiencing circumstances that may present a barrier to education.
Indianapolis Met High School students are often facing issues such as teen pregnancy, homelessness, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Through its partnership with the school, IUPUI brings faculty and staff to the school to teach classes, offer tutoring and mentoring to students, provide trauma-informed care to high school students and staff and connect the school with resources and programs to best serve the community.
“We are so appreciative of IUPUI. Everyone we’ve worked with has been so helpful, with us bringing them a problem, and they help us develop a solution. They don’t just bring us a program and tell us to use it,” said Sheila Dollaske, Director of School Development & Innovation at Goodwill Education Initiatives Inc. which supports Indy Met High School.
The IU School of Education taught a course on asset mapping in communities, every year medical students from the IU School of Medicine teach a course on public health, and tutors and mentors from the IU Student Success Corps have worked on-site with students, Dollaske said.
Indy Met was also the site of a project by researchers from the IU School of Nursing and IU School of Social Work focused on trauma-informed care. The work began with students and has now shifted to secondary trauma of staff at the school, she said.
And when Indy Met went through a redesign in the last few years, IUPUI Office of Community Engagement Director of University/Community School Partnerships Jim Grim worked closely with them on how to connect with resources and organizations that would allow them to fulfill their role in serving the community.
The partnership with IUPUI has had an impact on both staff and students.
Three of the work-study students hired through IUPUI have been hired to work for Indy Met, allowing them to continue building and growing relationships with the school and community, Dollaske said.
And 51 graduates from Indy Met or the Goodwill Industries Excel Center currently attend IUPUI, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana Director of Marketing and Communications Jennifer Rendant said.
“It really speaks to the partnership we have with IUPUI, to make sure our students know every option and that IUPUI is an option to enhance their career and opportunities,” Rendant said.