Cummins Foundation joins other industry partners and IUPUI to support IT program for IPS high school students

Students at Arsenal Technical High School, part of Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), are CumminsSignWeb-750-340x246receiving an investment from Fortune 160 company, Cummins Inc (NYSE: CMI). To improve learning opportunities for students from low-income and minority families and provide more pathways to good jobs, the company is investing its resources as well as the skills of its employees.

The IU School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) announced today Cummins Inc. is donating funding and encouraging its employees to contribute their time and talents to the Informatics: Diversity-Enhanced Workforce initiative, or iDEW.

Launching this fall, iDEW will help students from Arsenal Technical, IPS’ Pike High School and the private Providence Cristo Rey learn information technology (IT) skills necessary for two or four-year college degrees and careers in the IT industry.

The iDEW program has broad support from area Cummins invests in iDEW initiative
businesses, with the global power leader Cummins being the most recent investor. As part of the partnership, Cummins employees can use four or more hours of their work time to mentor and tutor iDEW students.

“Cummins employees are excited to support iDEW and help students in Indianapolis’ Near Eastside reach their full potential in education and beyond,” said Mary Chandler, Cummins’ Executive Director of Corporate Responsibility. “Cummins is grateful for the opportunity to partner with IUPUI and other industry partners committed to helping students in our community gain skills that lead to good jobs.”

iDEW is a year-round program that introduces students to computing, informatics, and other IT concepts, the real-world application of those concepts, and career opportunities in the IT industry, which according to one IU executive is lacking in both diversity and quantity of qualified applicants.

“There are over 1.4 million unfilled jobs in the IT industry, and the number continues to grow,” said Mathew Palakal, executive associate dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. “These jobs are high-paying and available all over the United States. We feel a sense of responsibility in assisting with the preparation of the workforce of the future by providing them with the necessary skills to secure these jobs.”

To prepare graduates for those future careers, iDEW will focus on students’ reading, writing, and interpersonal communication skills in addition to building their self-esteem, confidence, and ability to work on teams.

Leading those sessions, which range from basic programming to creating websites and mobile applications to understanding the data behind DNA, will be Informatics and Computing faculty working with high school teachers. Lending a hand will be volunteers from industry experts like Cummins.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ind., with a growing presence in Indianapolis, Cummins designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products. In 2016, Cummins’ Distribution Business will open a downtown Indianapolis office, increasing the number of employees in the city to approximately 250. Corporate Responsibility is a core value at Cummins, and employees are encouraged to serve and improve the communities in which they live, with partners and programs like the iDEW initiative through the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI.

IUPUI administrator chosen for IPS superintendent’s transition team

An IUPUI administrator is among a group of prestigious national and local leaders chosen to serve on Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis D. Ferebee’s transition team, the school district announced Monday.

Patricia Rogan, executive associate dean of the School of Education at IUPUI, is one of seven appointees to the team that will analyze and provide feedback to Ferebee on improving the academic performance, operating efficiencies and communication practices for the district.

Rogan is a professor of special education at the School of Education. She has been a university professor for 30 years with interests in secondary education, transition, supported employment and organizational change. Rogan consults nationally and internationally with schools, adult services and state leaders to promote positive practices and systems change.

“Dr. Rogan’s commitment to educating students is only matched by her commitment to improving the quality of that education. Her intelligence, experience and commitment will drive her contributions to Dr. Ferebee’s transition,” IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said.

Other Ferebee transition team members are Kelvin Adams, superintendent, St. Louis Public Schools; Linda L. Kirby, program director, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce; Terry B. Grier, superintendent, Houston Independent; Amos Brown, director of strategic research and editor, Radio One; and Chris Horan, managing partner, Horan Communications.

The transition team will provide recommendations that will be considered as part of the superintendent’s overarching listening tour, which will help guide the development of the district’s next strategic plan. The team will begin interacting with the IPS community this month and will report its findings and recommendations in March.