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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

academics & research

Grant supports career searches

 University officials announced yesterday that IU has been selected to receive a $5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to support student career placement in
IU is one of 39 colleges and universities in the state to receive funding as part of the Endowment’s Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations, according to a press release.

The endowment’s goal is to increase support for students’ post-graduation career search, as well as increase focus on keeping graduates in Indiana after graduation, according to the release. The ultimate goal is to have these students support the state’s economy.

The University matched the amount received with a pledge of $3.7 million toward initiatives supported by the Endowment.

This $5 million installment is the third in a series of installments received by the University. The first installment came in 2003, in the amount of $5.5 million, and the second installment of $2.75 million was received in 2008.

Among those initiatives are allocating funding to the IU Online office, providing IU system-wide career development programs and organizing an annual convention with state employers and higher education institutions.

Judith Halstead, director of IU Online, said the office will receive $2 million of the $5 million awarded to the University, the first time an IU online education program will benefit from the grant.

Halstead said the amount will remain separate from the $8 million awarded to the office at the time of President Michael McRobbie’s charge for online education more than a year ago.

“The IU Online charge that President McRobbie put out over a year ago was to increase and develop online programs to meet the needs of our students,” she said. “What the Lilly grant does is it focuses on a specific group of those students.”

She said the funding from the Lilly Endowment will be used to design online courses and promote curriculum development.

Halstead added the office’s goal is to increase outreach to students pursuing degrees online that had either started their degree through IU in the past or are looking to further their education. This means the office will work to foster career-building and employment opportunities for graduating students.

She said the office will focus on programs that include, but are not limited to, information technology and health and life sciences.

Ryan Piurek, director of news and media at IU Communications, said in an email he thought one of the most interesting initiatives planned is the establishment of a “Discovery Team.”

The initiative would place scientists with research faculty to aid them in turning their projects into reality.

“It will work with our IU Research and Technology Corporation’s Spin Up program, which allows faculty to concentrate his or her efforts on science and discovery while it concentrates its efforts on the business side,” he said.

Piurek said the program will also be beneficial to students university-wide through the development of a Career EDGE program across the IU campuses. He said the focus of the program will be to prepare students for internships and employment by providing access to mentorship and career  preparation.

The Lilly Endowment grant will benefit both the state and the students at its flagship university, Halstead said. 

“This gives them the opportunity to seek employment and stay within the state of Indiana, which is ultimately what we’re trying to do with this grant,” Halstead said.

Follow reporter Holly Hays on Twitter @hv_hays.

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