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Strategic plan includes strengthening K-12 pipelines

IUPUI’s strategic planning process will guide the advancement of IUPUI, IUPUC and IU Fort Wayne over the next seven years. The plan will align with IU 2030, the university’s strategic plan framework, and be closely integrated with Vision 2024, the realignment of Indiana University and Purdue University in Indianapolis.

Twenty subcommittees have been formed within the core strategic areas of Student Success and Opportunity, Transformative Research and Creativity, and Service to the State and Beyond.

The Service to the State and Beyond subcommittees are:

  • Engaging State K-12 to Strengthen Education and Educational Pipelines in Indiana.
  • Fostering Economic Development in Indiana Through Tech Transfer, Translational Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
  • Reducing Inequities by Enhancing Inclusion and Diversity in Public Service and Outreach.
  • Improving Health Outcomes Through Research, Community Service, Education and Engagement.
  • Contributions to Workforce Development.
  • Adapting Global Perspectives to Address Local Challenges.

Kathy Marrs Kathy Marrs, associate professor of biology, serves on the subcommittee for Engaging State K-12 to Strengthen Education and Educational Pipelines in Indiana. She talked to IUPUI Today about the group’s conversations and recommendations.

Question: What are the main ideas and objectives included in your subcommittee’s draft plan?

Answer: Our key recommendations include working to formalize and coordinate efforts between the IU Office of K-12 School Partnerships, the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement and the IU School of Education at IUPUI; focusing on opportunities to strategically expand our service to the state and strengthening our education-related mission; and identifying ways in which we can specifically support teachers, both locally and statewide. In doing so, these actions would have significant implications for recruitment, enrollment and college success, as well as the economic development of Indiana through preparation and graduation of a skilled professional workforce.

Q: How is the subcommittee integrating Vision 2024, the transition from IUPUI to IU Indianapolis, in the planning process?

A: A key aspect of Vision 2024 is cultivating ongoing interest, support and investment with a variety of stakeholders that strengthen what will be IU Indianapolis as a flourishing campus in our community. Identifying and acting on opportunities for broad K-12 stakeholder engagement provides mutually beneficial and reciprocal partnerships as we realign our campus for the future.

Q: Why, specifically, is engaging state K-12 to strengthen education and educational pipelines in Indiana important to your field of expertise, science education?

A: Engaging with state K-12 efforts, particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), is important to me for several reasons:

  • It benefits the campus, IU and the state. By strengthening partnerships and investing in K-12 education, we will improve student outcomes, improve students’ academic performance in K-12 through college, increase graduation rates in high school and college, and prepare students for successful careers and professions, ideally within the state.
  • It prepares students for their future professions and the workforce. Many professions now and in the future require skills in STEM, and strong K-12 and high school success in STEM education helps students be well-prepared for these majors in college and excel in careers after college.
  • It increases diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. Education is a key driver of social mobility, expands opportunities, and helps reduce poverty and income inequality. Strengthening partnerships from K-12 through college will ensure a high-quality education to all students; increase representation of underrepresented groups, including women and minority students, in STEM fields; and provide opportunities for all students to reach their full potential.
  • It increases economic development and the state’s economy. A strong STEM education pipeline will lead to a more skilled professional workforce that may attract and retain high-tech industries, professions and jobs in the state, which can boost the economy.
  • It positions Indiana for national and global competitiveness. In an interconnected world, it is important for Indiana to have a population that is well-educated and able to compete in the global economy. This requires a strong K-12 through college educational system and well-prepared graduates who are able to meet the demands of the 21st-century workforce.

Q: What would you like faculty, staff and students to know about the strategic planning process?

A: Our subcommittee’s work this past semester only represents a start and will provide framework to extend the efforts of the larger campus strategic planning process. The committee membership included colleagues with a wide range of expertise and experience working with the campus and K-12 community.

Our work was led by Dr. Craig Willey, chair of urban teacher education in the IU School of Education, and other members were Cleveland Hayes, associate dean of academic affairs in the IU School of Education; Jeremy Price, assistant professor of urban teacher education in the IU School of Education; Phyllis Washington, director of the 21st Century Scholar Success Program in the Division of Undergraduate Education; Johnny Russell, director of Special Programs for Academic Nurturing in the Division of Undergraduate Education; Vicki Daugherty, program manager in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering; and Angela DeCamp, recruitment and outreach coordinator in the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.