CICF News / 2010 / December / News Post
December 13, 2010
New College Readiness Program Launched in Marion County

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) officially announced a new public-private partnership program, College is Power, created to help more Marion County students prepare to enter post-secondary education opportunities and succeed once they get there.

College is Power is a school-based program focused on two school districts within Marion County, Decatur and Warren townships. These school districts were selected based on evidence of growth in student achievement and the number and percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, a relative measure of poverty. The program is designed to build community-school partnerships, reward school achievement though performance-based incentives and staff recognition, and provide grants to support efforts that will increase the number and percentage of low-income students who are prepared for, and enroll in, post-secondary opportunities immediately following their senior year of high school. CICF has pledged a multi-year commitment of up to ten years to support the College is Power program with select school districts.

A component of CICF’s larger College Readiness Initiative, the College is Power program will work with middle and high schools to improve performance reflected by key college readiness indicators. These indicators include but are not limited to: (1) Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP) growth, (2) Advanced Placement performance, (3) college entrance exam completion rates, (4) four-year high school graduation rates and type of diplomas earned, and (5) post-secondary enrollment. In addition to working with school districts to identify community partnerships, CICF will provide grants and performance rewards to school districts that demonstrate significant achievement in these key college readiness indicators.

“IDOE’s partnership with Central Indiana Community Foundation is one example of the type of relationships we need to develop across the state to incubate innovation and support student success,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said during the announcement of the College is Power program. “I am pleased IDOE can contribute to this effort which will ensure students leave high school on track to enter college with the skills they need to succeed in continuing education and beyond.”

“CICF is committed to providing deep support for a select number of school districts to help all students with post-secondary aspirations achieve their goals, but more importantly to assist low-income students overcome challenges to accessing post-secondary opportunities,” said Brian Payne, president of CICF and The Indianapolis Foundation. “By raising the expectations and providing intense support to low-income students in our select school districts, we believe we increase expectations for all students in our partner districts.”

“The College is Power program can potentially be a national model,” said Jill Kramer, Senior Program Officer for Lumina Foundation for Education. “We are extremely excited by the announcement of the CICF and IDOE partnership and believe it will place Indianapolis in the national spotlight in terms of developing thoughtful public-private partnerships that increase college readiness.”