IU Northwest receives $3 million grant to increase retention and graduation rates, foster sense of community

IU Northwest receives $3 million grant to increase retention and graduation rates, foster sense of community

In the last two years, the campus has received $8 million in funding due to its Hispanic Serving Institution designation

Indiana University Northwest was recently awarded a $3 million grant from the Developing Hispanic Serving Institution (DHSI) Program at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The award will be distributed to IU Northwest at $600,000 per year for the next five years.

INVEST (INspiring, Valuing, and Empowering Success Together) has three primary goals—improving retention and graduation rates; enhancing instruction; and building a culture of student success through strong leadership—delivered through three strategic components:

  • Student success interventions: Implementing programs, including a summer bridge course, a financial literacy module, and career exploration resources, to support students who experience lower levels of student success.
  • Academic and student service investments: Developing active learning classrooms, creating a Student Success Center to integrate support services, and establishing an Office of Student Success to build a culture of success and assessment.
  • Professional development: Building faculty and staff excellence through professional development and resources to improve teaching and learning that optimizes student outcomes.

“I am ecstatic about IU Northwest’s $3 million award from the U.S. Department of Education Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program,” said Chancellor Ken Iwama. “This grant truly symbolizes the power of our Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation, our value as one the most diverse campuses in the state, and our historic mission in supporting success and opportunity for all IU Northwest students.”

The project was developed by a cross-campus team of faculty and administrators, including Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Cynthia O’Dell, Dr. Dorothy Frink, Dr. Mark Hoyert, Dr. Crystal Shannon, Dr. Kris Huysken, Natalie Vega-Finn and Sandra McMullen.

A commitment to our community

IU Northwest was eligible to apply for this grant—and others— because of its designation as an HSI by ED. The campus has a unique advantage in accessing this funding as it is the only public, comprehensive institution of higher education in Indiana with this designation. The most diverse of all IU campuses, IU Northwest’s student body is 27 percent Hispanic and 18 percent African American.

“Over the last two academic years, IU Northwest has been fortunate to receive $8 million in federal grants; funding that has led us to bold projects, like the creation of a STEM Resource Center, increased collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College, additional undergraduate research opportunities, and so much more,” Iwama added.

“This funding furthers our goal of building a campus that is committed to meeting the academic and professional needs for all students, especially Hispanic students, and students in need of financial support to attend college. And as an IU regional campus, that is precisely our role.”

About IU Northwest

One of seven campuses of Indiana University, IU Northwest is located in metropolitan Northwest Indiana, approximately 30 miles southeast of Chicago and 10 miles from the Indiana Dunes National Park. The campus has a diverse student population of approximately 3,500 degree-seeking students and 1,800 dual-credit students and has been recognized by the Department of Education as a minority and Hispanic serving institution. The campus offers Associate, Baccalaureate, and Master’s degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, the School of the Arts, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary, the region’s only four-year medical doctorate program. As a student-centered campus, IU Northwest is committed to academic excellence characterized by a love of ideas and achievement in learning, discovery, creativity, research, and community engagement. Indiana University Northwest is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to achieving excellence through diversity. The University actively encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, persons with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups.