June 7, 2021

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A $3 million grant will aid Vincennes University in helping students and families in Northeast Indiana recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by accelerating learning, fostering college and career readiness, improving the employability of adults, supporting the social and emotional well-being and financial stability of families.

The Student Learning Recovery Grant awarded by the Indiana Department of Education will assist students and families from VU Early College sites throughout Indiana, including East Allen University in Fort Wayne. The grant will allow VU Early College to provide college and career counseling to first-generation citizens, immigrants, and refugee families.

VU has multiple diverse Early College sites, including two in Fort Wayne that are more than 40 percent Burmese. A partnership between VU Early College Programs in Fort Wayne and Amani Family Services will offer culturally responsive academic coaching and career exploration. VU Early College programs will also partner with other organizations and offer mentoring, career counseling, and leadership development of diverse young women and minority males, especially Black and Hispanic males. 

Steve Corona

Steve Corona of Latinos Count stated, “This grant is a wonderful opportunity to support our mission in creating awareness and leadership opportunities for diverse students in Northeast Indiana.”

More than 1,800 students throughout the state of Indiana will benefit from college and career readiness programming, coaching, tutoring, and internships through the grant.

Dr. Odelet Nance

VU Assistant Dean of Instruction-Early College Dr. Odelet Nance said, “Learning loss will be identified for each grant participant. This grant will provide the essential accountability for academic achievement and appropriate support to increase the ambitions for college and increase opportunities for career exploration.”

Using data from standardized tests, attendance records, and grades, grant staff will identify strengths, challenges, and assist students in developing plans for academic achievement, college attainment, and career exploration, according to Nance. Supplemental instruction methods and individualized coaching will assist in addressing learning loss and help students cultivate a pathway to academic and career success.

VU is the statewide leader in Early College partnerships. Students get a jump start on their college education while still attending high school. Early College offers various pathways that allow students to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree or a certificate of graduation.