NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Indiana University Southeast has announced that the IU Foundation received two planning grants of $20,000 each from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students.
The purpose of the initiative is to increase the number of K-12 students in Indiana who are emotionally healthy, realize academic success, graduate from high school, obtain valuable postsecondary credentials, certifications and degrees necessary for meaningful employment, and are prepared to compete and prosper in the global society in which they will live and work.
The grants were awarded to enable IU Southeast’s School Counselor Program and its Educational Leadership Program to provide research and planning activities that will enhance both programs. Grant funds will be used to learn about best practices, bring together school and community stakeholders for needs assessment and visioning, and develop a comprehensive plan to enhance and coordinate both programs to better serve Indiana’s K-12 students, counselors, and administrators.
At the heart of the Lilly Endowment initiative is an effective collaboration between school counselors and administrators. Because IU Southeast offers advanced programs for both groups of professionals, it stands in a unique position to help counselors and administrators work together to benefit students.
“We are striving to help our schools meet the challenges of educating and supporting K-12 students in a rapidly changing world,” said Dr. Doyin Coker-Kolo, Dean of the IU Southeast School of Education. “These grants from Lilly Endowment give us the opportunity to re-examine our School Counseling and Educational Leadership programs, partner with diverse stakeholders and become even stronger so that students will be better prepared to build meaningful lives and careers.”
Through interviews and focus group meetings with area counselors, principals, administrators, teachers, students, and community and business leaders, as well as targeted research into best practices and successful counselor-administrator partnerships, the programs will assess their existing curricula and courses, determine how they can be improved based on what is needed in area schools, and develop a plan for needed changes.
Enhancements will likely include increased collaboration between the two programs and with the community and work with model school counseling programs to learn about and teach best practices, as well as additional initiatives identified through the research and community conversations funded by the planning grant. The end goal will be a sustainable model to address the academic, college, career and social and emotional counseling needs of students in Indiana schools. IU Southeast plans to apply for a follow-up implementation grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to execute the model and carry out program enhancements.
Currently, school counseling interns from IU Southeast provide an average of 350 hours of counseling services to area P-12 students and their families as part of their program. They also engage in a year-long “Impact on Student Learning” project that provides interventions on problems identified by the schools they serve. IU Southeast’s School of Education has also collaborated with area schools on local, state and federal grants, enabling professional development for local middle school teachers, improving school literacy rates by bringing the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Floyd County, and providing professional development for schools experiencing increased growth in immigrant populations.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment is primarily committed to the causes of community development, education and religion and has a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and its home state, Indiana.