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Verbatim: IPFW awarded $1.2 million to aid disadvantaged students

Statement issued Friday:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Chancellor Michael A. Wartell announced today that IPFW has been awarded a $1.2 million Student Support Services TRIO grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The university was recently notified of the grant by Indiana Senator Richard Lugar’s office.

The grant, which is disbursed equally over five years, is designed to assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress toward the successful completion of their college education. Funding will help IPFW provide maximum support services and coaching to bolster these students’ abilities toward graduation. “The grant will allow us to help 140 students from challenged backgrounds achieve the American Dream: a college education,” said Chancellor Wartell in his announcement.

“Specific to the goal of the Student Support Services program will be efforts to attract, retain, and graduate students who are in need of additional support to navigate the rigors of a college curriculum,” said Ken Christmon, associate vice chancellor in IPFW’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. “Opportunities for student engagement, support services, and challenging, supporting, and celebrating the quest for a college education will now take on an expanded role here at IPFW,” Christmon added.

The grant will help IPFW in providing academic support services such as academic advising, degree planning, tutoring, financial aid counseling, study skills assistance, and career exploration.

Today’s announcement marks the first time that IPFW has received a Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO grant. But it is not the first time that IPFW has received a TRIO grant. The U.S. Department of Education federal TRIO programs include eight unique programs, all designed to assist disadvantaged students. SSS is one of those eight. Also among the eight is Upward Bound, a program that provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. IPFW has twice been awarded TRIO grants for its Upward Bound program, once in 2004, and again in 2008.

“While we have done well with pre-college programming , we are now getting critical funding and support to boost our incidence of retention among some of the most challenged populations,” noted Christmon.

“As the community’s comprehensive higher education leader, we at IPFW commend our colleagues at the University of Saint Francis for receiving their first SSS program grant, and for the reauthorization of such grant funding at Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast and Indiana Institute of Technology (Indiana Tech). Having four such programs in such close proximity places the Northeast Indiana region in elite company!” added Christmon.

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