- III. Operational Planning Elements
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that supports the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—
- a. State Strategy Implementation
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include–
- 2. Implementation of State Strategy
Describe how the lead State agency with responsibility for the administration of each core program or a Combined Plan partner program included in this plan will implement the State’s Strategies identified in Section II(c). above. This must include a description of—
- 2. Implementation of State Strategy
- a. State Strategy Implementation
III. a. 2. H. Improving Access to Postsecondary Credentials
Describe how the State’s strategies will improve access to activities leading to recognized postsecondary credentials, including Registered Apprenticeship certificates. This includes credentials that are industry-recognized certificates, licenses or certifications, and that are portable and stackable.
Through those opportunities identified above that increase educational access, we will also increase access to postsecondary credentials. This is precipitated upon Indiana developing a more comprehensive view of completion to include a wider range of credential types in data collection, including quality short-term and non-credit credentials. Indiana does not want to merely focus on access to credentials, but we hope to emphasize persistence and completion. Given the changing economy of our state, it is no longer enough for us to provide access to credentials; we need to prioritize earning these credentials. Access alone will not help individuals attain greater economic mobility, but obtaining credentials can have that impact.
The increased earnings from a credential or degree more than exceed the total costs of college, including debt, for most students within only a few years after graduation. Stories about graduates with very large amounts of student debt and no jobs do not appear to reflect the typical Hoosier experience, and successful entrepreneurs without some sort of postsecondary education are increasingly rare. Nationally, about 99% of jobs created since the Great Recession went to workers with at least some college. Higher education is a key contributor to individuals’ opportunities for upward economic mobility and economic development. College graduates’ lifetime earnings often outweigh those of Hoosiers with only a high school diploma by $1 million or more; those with an Associate’s degree earn more than $400,000 more, and those with some college earn more than $150,000 or more than Hoosiers with only a high school diploma. Additionally, Hoosiers with higher levels of educational attainment have significantly higher levels of job security. Over the course of a lifetime, a cohort of Indiana public college graduates contributes at least $13 billion in additional spending and tax revenue to the economy compared to Hoosiers with only a high school diploma. Hoosiers with an associate degree contribute about $250,000 extra to the economy compared to those with only a high school diploma. Hoosiers with a bachelor’s degree contribute about $700,000 extra to the economy compared to those with only a high school diploma.
To help promote both access to and earning of postsecondary credentials, Indiana’s strategies include the following:
- Advocating that high school and adult students gain financial literacy skills to help them make informed choices about education and training beyond a high school diploma;
- Including program-level return on investment data (including job placement, debt, and expected wage) in annual debt letters and communications when learners apply to change their majors;
- Monitoring early college credit and career-technical education pathways in high school to routinely assess the status of opportunity and completion gaps among low-income, rural, and minority populations;
- Creating access to postsecondary opportunities in rural areas through the use of technology, broadband, and innovative delivery models;
- Using proactive outreach to increase the number of learners from target populations taking advantage of existing financial aid programs to ease tuition and fees costs;
- Integrating social services into education and workforce development programs to assist with any wraparound need or burden;
- Increasing paid work-based learning experiences to help students strike the balance between education opportunities and life expenses;
- Marketing to adults with some college and no degree, particularly those that fall into our target populations, to assist with application fee waivers, tuition discounts, scholarships, debt forgiveness and other special incentives offered by Indiana colleges to returning adults; and
- Providing funding for short-term credential programs through our Next Level Jobs Programs;
- Creating the Office of Work-based Learning and Apprenticeship to better coordinate with USDOL regarding apprenticeship opportunities and helping employers establish registered programs.
- Providing funding to Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University to coordinate degree conferment for completion of registered apprenticeship programs.
- Encouraging local communities to make teacher recruitment and retention a priority with campaigns and programs that uplift the profession and encourage local K-12 students to enter the profession and to stay in their communities. Indiana currently offers four unique scholarships to those interested in pursuing a career in education:
- Earline S. Rogers Student Teaching Stipend for Minorities is available for minority students (defined as black and Hispanic individuals) who will participate in student teaching or a school administration internship as a part of their degree requirements during the semester in which they receive it. Students must agree in writing to apply for teaching positions in Indiana and, if hired, teach in Indiana for at least three years.
- Student Teaching Stipend for High-Need Fields is available for students who plan to teach in a high-need field (defined as middle or high school level math, science or special education). Students are eligible to receive the stipend in the term they are student teaching as a part of their degree requirements. Students must agree in writing to apply for teaching positions in Indiana and, if hired, teach in Indiana for at least three years.
- Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship provides 200 high-achieving high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in education the opportunity to earn a renewable scholarship of up to $7,500 a year for four academic years. In exchange, students agree to teach for five years at an eligible Indiana school or repay the corresponding, prorated amount of the scholarship.
- William A. Crawford Minority Teacher Scholarship is available to minority students (defined as black and Hispanic individuals) who intend to pursue, or are currently pursuing, a course of study that would enable them to teach in an accredited school in Indiana. Students must agree in writing to apply for teaching positions in Indiana and, if hired, teach in Indiana for at least three years.