Ivy Tech Richmond - Ivy CARES
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What it is…..
Ivy CARES (Caring Assistance Resource for Every Student) is a grass-roots initiative that was started by a caring faculty member who identified a substantial need among her students. It quickly became apparent that the need is much greater and has become a major initiative for the Richmond campus to provide support to all eligible students.
The goal of Ivy CARES is to work with the student to ensure that they have regular attendance and can successfully complete their classes. Ultimately, Ivy CARES helps students achieve their educational objectives.
It is a struggle for students who are facing poverty to afford housing, food, clothes and other basic necessities. Many students are one flat tire away from dropping out. Many may be unable to even afford enough gas to drive to and from campus for a week, let alone their many other basic necessities.
When a student chooses to enroll at Ivy Tech, they have taken a step toward improving their skills for the betterment of themselves, their families and communities. There are many financial barriers students face while attending Ivy Tech. An example:
A student may struggle to pay for child care for a week or two so they stay at home to care for their children rather than attend class. The student then falls too far behind in class so they stop attending or withdraw.
Ivy CARES is designed to provide assistance to students, helping them overcome obstacles along their paths to academic and personal success. This involves identifying challenges, strategizing solutions, referring students to needed resources, and following up with students to further support and motivate them. In most cases, resources are needed immediately to ensure students' continued success in their coursework and educational goals.
How it works…..
Students are referred to the Ivy CARES office and staff confirm financial need. Once confirmed, staff determine how best to assist students whether it be through referrals or providing immediate emergency assistance. The support is not designed for assistance with recurring expenses and does not support tuition, fees or books.
In most cases, the expectation for receiving emergency assistance is that students must be:
- in good academic and financial standing with the College
- in regular attendance with their current classes
- making satisfactory progress in their current coursework.
How Ivy CARES is funded…..
Emergency assistance through financial support is fully funded by donations made to the Ivy Tech Foundation. Providing financial support that minimize barriers for students to achieve their educational objective is only one component of Ivy CARES. The campus is staffing the Ivy CARES office with Ivy Tech student interns from the Human Services program and we are pleased to be learning that a number of students are more comfortable speaking to other students about the issues they are challenged with.
The campus is already seeing immediate impact since tracking began the start of fall semester 2017. For those receiving some form of assistance through Ivy CARES, a 90 percent retention rate has resulted.