Through the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc., IPS received a $2.87 million Lilly Counseling Initiative Grant to implement Future Centers at four IPS high schools and expand Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum in Grades K-8.
Launched in Fall 2018, the Future Centers are physical spaces and serve as school-based advising centers where students can define their college and career plans, and receive guidance and support to execute them. Future Centers are staffed with traditional academic counselors, but also with educators focused solely on assisting students with developing and executing post-secondary plans.
The delineation between in-school support provided by counselors and postsecondary planning support provided by college and career readiness is intentional and reflects IPS’ investment in postsecondary readiness.
Services include assistance with applications for college financial aid, scholarships, employment opportunities, and extracurricular learning experiences. The centers create a hub for students and families to meet with community-based organizations, higher education partners, military recruiters, and employers. Future Center staff has identified mission-aligned partners to drive year-round programming opportunities for students to advance post-secondary plans.
Future Center staff, in conjunction with the district’s Postsecondary Readiness team, is also developing and implementing persistence programming to support IPS students after graduation. Persistence programming aligns with district’s 3Es strategy for IPS high schools, with differentiated opportunities for students who are enrolled, enlisted or employed upon graduation.