The Greene County Foundation is making an effort to help college students stay in school by targeting several scholarships to upper level college students. The Helen Hunter Scholarship fund will provide scholarships to students in their junior and senior years at four year schools and one scholarship to a student pursuing a graduate degree. An additional scholarship will be provided to a non traditional student, either an older individual returning to start a college education, or a student who has been out of school for a time and is now planning on attending college. The applications can be found on the Foundation website www.greenecountyfoundation.org and are due March 18th.
As part of the Foundation’s Workforce Development Initiative, the scholarships were created in response to a study conducted by the Indiana Higher Education Commission. The IHC study showed college completion rates at Indiana 2 and 4 year institutions to be much less than needed to meet the educational demands of today’s workforce. According to the study, only 12% of students attending a two year institution complete in 3 years or less, and of those attending 4 year institutions, only 28% complete in 6 years or less. “ The reasons are varied, including financial, academic preparedness, and personal motivation, either way compare that to the statistic that suggests, over 75% of newly created jobs required a minimum of a two year degree and we have a dramatic skills mismatch.” Said Cam Trampke, Executive Director of the Foundation. “The estate of Helen Hunter was very generous to the Foundation and ensuring these scholarships help develop our local workforce seemed a fitting and vital tribute to her community legacy. I’ve always been a firm believer that scholarships should be an investment in the community as well as the individual student.” The Foundation in conjunction with Greene County Economic Development, Greene Education Services and Regional Work One partners is focusing efforts on better understanding and aligning education and workforce activities. This group has a traveling presentation outlining the issues related to preparing for the workforce. Contact Cam Trampke at the Foundation if you would like more information about the scholarships or the presentation materials.