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Federal Grant Opportunity: First in the World

  The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education has launched the First in the World (FITW) grant program for higher education institutions to drive innovations in higher education and increase college affordability, completion, and quality outcomes through the development and testing of new approaches and strategies. This year, FITW will have two tiers: In the development tier, projects will be funded in three areas (with specific descriptions in the announcement): Improving teaching and learning Developing and using assessments of student learning Facilitating pathways to credentialing and transfer In the validation tier, projects will be funded in these four areas: Improving success in developmental education Improving teaching and learning Improving student support services Influencing the development of non-cognitive factors In

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Meet the Newest Team Member

  Transform Consulting Group is thrilled to announce its newest team member, Monica DiOrio!  As Project Coordinator, she will assist with several client projects.  Monica graduated from the University of Missouri with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies, as well as a certificate in Multi-Cultural Studies. She recently completed a one-year term of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for the Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, focusing on capacity building through grant management, reporting efficiency, and cultivating community partnerships. Working to expand the impact of local organizations has been a passion of hers for many years. Her experience in non-profit organizations spans small community-based organizations to a large medical non-profit in Chicago. During her spare

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May is Foster Care Awareness Month

  May is National Foster Care Month and provides an opportunity to celebrate the heroes that are foster and adoptive parents as well as share critical information about the number of children and families who are impacted. There are approximately 400,000 children and youth in foster care. Here are some quick facts about foster care in Indiana: Many Hoosier children need temporary homes in the form of foster care; in 2012, nearly 49% of children who needed an out-of-home placement were placed into a non-relative foster home. Between 2009 and 2013, an average of nearly 4,000 children were adopted in Indiana each year. Overall, 2.7% of Hoosier children live in adoptive families. There are several ways to support the 400,000

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New Federal Grant Opportunities for Mentoring Programs

  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has two federal funding opportunities for mentoring organizations and programs: Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiatives and Mentoring for Youth: Underserved Populations. The OJJDP Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiatives supports mentoring programs that reduce juvenile delinquency, drug-abuse and other high-risk behaviors. The OJJDP Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiatives grant is divided into three eligibility categories: National Mentoring Programs that have mentoring programs in at least 45 states. Multistate Mentoring Programs that have mentoring programs in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 programs. Collaborative Mentoring Programs that are a part of at least 3 and as many as 5 mentoring organizations. An organization that applies for funding in Category 1 may not apply

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Federal Program Spotlight: Federal TRIO Programs

  This post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide educational opportunities and/or youth development services in communities across the country.  The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) include eight programs designed to promote the attainment of postsecondary education for all students, especially those most in need of additional support. Federal TRIO programs focus on individuals that are low-income, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities who face difficulties advancing from middle school through postsecondary. This year marks 50 years of TRIO programs and services! The term “TRIO” was coined in the late 1960s to describe the original three (of eight) federal outreach programs. The first was Upward Bound, which came from the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in

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Transformational Organization Spotlight: College Success Coalition

  The College Success Coalition (CSC), is a network of organizations powered by the American Student Achievement Institute that combine to improve student performance across the state of Indiana. This statewide network implements activities that are designed to prepare young people to take the necessary steps for college entrance and success. Within only the first three years of this program, seventy-two counties joined the CSC. The remaining twenty counties are expected to join by the end of 2015. The two main goals of CSC are to: increase percentage of students who enter college the Fall after high-school graduation; and increase percentage of students who earn a college degree within the first four years of postsecondary schooling. Member organizations of the

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Federal Program Spotlight: Every Kid in a Park

The Every Kid in a Park initiative, launched by President Obama, was created with the hope that all children get the opportunity to visit and explore the outdoors. Beginning in September, every fourth-grader in the nation will receive an “Every Kid in a Park,” pass that is good for a free family-admission pass to every national park for one full year. With children spending less and less time outside, and more time indoors in front of a television screen, the Every Kid in a Park initiative was designed to help get kids out and moving while experiencing the natural beauty of America. The program will help families and schools arrange field trips and cover transportation costs. To help pay for

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Bringing TEDx to an Afterschool Program

  Randy Wallock, a 7th grade Language Arts teacher, stumbled upon TEDx when trying to replace his school’s previous afterschool enrichment program. Inspired by TEDx and with an idea to enhance the afterschool program, Wallock applied for and received a license in the fall of 2012 to include a TEDx program in the afterschool program. Wallock recruited teachers from various disciplines, such as special education, forensics, and technology to help coach the students. Once a week for two or more hours, the TEDx group met to discuss projects and brainstorm more ideas. At the end of the school year each student got up and delivered a 10-minute presentation, without the use of notes, in front of a 100 peers. Wallock

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Federal Program Spotlight: Amber Alert

  This post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities. The U.S. Department of Justice AMBER Alert program was instituted in 1996 as an early warning system designed to help find and return abducted children. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, approximately 800,000 children under 18 were reported missing in 1999. Fifteen years later in 2014, there were 466,949 missing children in the FBI’s National Crime information Center (NCIC). As of March 2015, the AMBER Alert program has recovered 745 children, and hopes to continue reuniting US families. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize an entire community to assist in

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New Preschool in America Report Released

  The U.S. Department of Education released a new report, A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America, which highlights the current state of early childhood education programs in America and the parity gaps for specific populations. Some of the key highlights in the report include the following: Six out of every ten children are not enrolled in a publicly funded preschool programs. Despite the fact that Latinos are the fastest growing minority group in the United States, having nearly a quarter of 3-4-year olds, they have the lowest preschool participation rate of 40%. In comparison, 50% of African American children are participating in preschool programs, and 53% of white children. Socioeconomically, children from low-income families are participating in preschool programs

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