A Part of Our DNA
The vision of the University of Indianapolis has long been tied to student engagement through strategic efforts that reach beyond the physical footprint. As the community has expanded around us, we have also grown. We have continued to seek opportunities to engage with our city and region while establishing a record of innovative partnerships that benefit the student experience, foster faculty engagement, improve business and impact our community. These partnerships position UIndy to be a driving force for education now and for future generations.
For students, immersion into the business world is one advantage of these partnerships, which bridge the tenets of critical thinking, discovery and creativity with theory and practice. For businesses, communities and organizations, these partnerships address workforce development needs by growing talent pipelines and solving problems specific to the industry.
The diverse portfolio of partnerships connects science and humanities as students, mentored by faculty, dive into real-world situations. From these experiences, graduates are prepared to create solutions through collaborations, science, research and innovation. Throughout this issue of Portico, you will read about such experiences forming a culture that is built into our DNA.
When one of the world’s leading biotech companies began experiencing a talent pipeline gap, it turned to UIndy. The solution was the Roche Academy, a partnership between Roche Diagnostics and the institution. STEM students who are accepted into the Roche Academy and successfully complete the program receive educational opportunities, professional mentoring and financial incentives, including a job offer from Roche upon graduation.
The growing demand for business improvement resulted in School of Business students attaining Six Sigma certification at Caterpillar and gaining a deeper understanding of logistic processes. Under the mentorship of business faculty such as Dr. Craig Seidelson, assistant professor of operations and supply chain management, students are advancing data analytics and changing the roles of leadership and supply chain management.
The Criminal Justice Education Lab, launched last year, is a dedicated facility for simulating crime scene investigations while serving as a training ground for local professionals through the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency (IMCFSA). Students gain valuable experiences, according to Dr. Kevin Whiteacre, associate professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, while police and other investigative organizations partner with UIndy to train their officers.
Meeting an employer talent pipeline need is also at the heart of an effective partnership. One example is the Teach (STEM)³ program, which is creating opportunities for career changers to teach. With STEM jobs increasing in Indiana by 13 percent over the past decade, a STEM teacher shortage still exists statewide with a 37-percent drop in education graduates from 2004 to 2014. Recognizing the need to fill that shortage, this program offers grant-subsidized education for individuals like former Rolls-Royce engineer Jas’minique Potter ’18 to receive a Master of Arts in Teaching with STEM licensure.
The School of Nursing is partnering with one of the nation’s leading integrated healthcare providers, Community Health Network (CHN), to develop new clinical experiences to meet the demand for patient treatment in non-traditional settings and outpatient treatment. These initiatives build upon professional opportunities for students to gain nursing and administrative leadership experiences in all areas of healthcare. Two cohorts have graduated to-date with all 19 graduates securing full-time jobs with CHN.
Students in the R.B. Annis School of Engineering, housed in the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences, are designing solutions through real-life problem-solving. Working with a variety of partners including the Greyhound swim team and the School of Occupational Therapy, students put theory and training into professional practice, designing new ways to train athletes and for coaches to improve conditioning and performance.