$800,000 grant to provide new opportunities for MCS students

Publish Date: 01/22/2016
Indiana Michigan Power announced Friday that the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation will make an $800,000 grant over five years to expand the Credits Count program to Ivy Tech Community College Marion campus. The grant will benefit students at Marion High School and McCulloch Junior High School.

Ivy Tech is the fifth college to receive funding from the foundation for this program.

Credits Count is a signature program of the AEP Foundation, targeting students in urban and rural areas who may not otherwise be able to afford a college education. The program encourages students to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) beginning in junior high school and supports dual enrollment opportunities at the high school level. The hands-on, year-round program is centered on four major components:
  • STEM Experiences - expanding awareness of STEM careers through middle and high school exploration experiences.
  • College Course Readiness Assessments - identifying gaps in writing, reading, science and math that may require tutoring.
  • Summer Bridge Program - providing remediation in English, science  and math and improving skills prior to students enrolling in dual enrollment programs.
  • Dual Enrollment in High Schools and at Ivy Tech - allowing students to graduate high school with at least 12 college credits toward an associate's degree or job-ready certificate. 
“We are so honored and thrilled to be the recipient of the AEP Foundation grant,” said Alex Huskey, president of the Marion campus of Ivy Tech Community College. “The real recipients though, and benefactors of this partnership, is our community and the students. They now have a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow, through education and development, that focuses on their success.”

Ivy Tech’s Marion campus will work with Marion Community Schools to introduce junior high students to STEM experiences and engage high school learners for college credit coursework prior to graduation. Credits Count focuses on introducing students to careers they otherwise may never have considered as career options and to provide a pathway to attain college credits while completing high school. 

“The AEP Foundation is excited to partner with Ivy Tech and Marion Community Schools to introduce junior high and high school students to the possibilities of a STEM-related career,” said Paul Chodak, Indiana Michigan Power president and chief operating officer. “Through the AEP Foundation’s Credits Count program, we are changing lives for our young people so they can be a part of a well-educated workforce of the future.”

The program will reach nearly 2,250 students to assess college readiness. Of those students, nearly 375 will participate in the Summer Bridge program to improve math, science and English skills; about 550 middle school students will participate in STEM exploration experiences; and at least 700 students are expected to earn college credit while completing high school.

“I am so thankful to Indiana Michigan Power, American Electric Power Foundation, and Ivy Tech Community College for providing this GIANT professional training opportunity through the Credits Counts program,” Marion Community Schools Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “The vision for this grant will help Ivy Tech, Marion Community Schools, and the greater community of Marion, Indiana, to raise the standard of excellence and performance in science, technology, engineering, and math career preparation.”

News of the program sparked interest throughout the region. Take a look:

>> Click here to see 21 Alive coverage from Fort Wayne (with video from the announcement!)

>> Click here to see Inside Indiana Business coverage from Indianapolis 

>> Click here to see coverage at GrantConnected.net