District Adopts 'Big Goal'

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A northeast Indiana school district is the first to sign on to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership's "Big Goal." North Adams Community Schools has adopted the initiative that aims to increase the percentage of northeast Indiana residents with postsecondary degrees to 60 percent by 2025.

January 28, 2014

News Release

Fort Wayne, Ind. -- North Adams Community Schools is the first district in Northeast Indiana to elect the Big Goal as an official goal. Board members approved the goal adoption at their January meeting.

The Big Goal is one of the priorities identified through the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership's Vision 2020 initiative. It aims to increase the percentage of Northeast Indiana residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60% by 2025.

"It has always been acceptable to enter the work force after high school. However, in today's job market, it is now important for our students entering the work force to earn one or more skill set certifications while in high school or they should leave high school with a plan on how they will earn certifications," said Brent Lehman, superintendent of North Adams Community Schools.

NACS is committed to the idea that every graduate should achieve some form of post-secondary education or training. In addition to continuing to promote degree opportunities, leaders at NACS will also focus on making sure students in the district have access to a variety of certifications. As part of its adoption of the Big Goal, the district will develop a plan to guide students to completing certifications prior to graduating from high school.

While the Big Goal for Northeast Indiana aims for 60% of the workforce with high-quality degrees or credentials by 2025, NACS is targeting to have 75% of its graduates go on to earn a certification or degree by 2018.

"North Adams Community Schools has taken a powerful step in helping us cultivate the Big Goal and prepare our students for successful employment in Northeast Indiana. We commend the district's commitment to making the Big Goal a priority and look forward to others following suit," said Ryan Twiss, director of the Big Goal Collaborative at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

The Big Goal Collaborative launched in 2012 under the 21st Century Talent Pillar of Vision 2020 and is a regional movement comprised of educators, community partners, businesses, civic leaders and others from throughout Northeast Indiana committed to the Big Goal. While NACS is the first district to formally adopt the Big Goal, several other organizations have also lent their support to the Big Goal, including the Community Foundation of Wabash County, Northeast Indiana Works, Fort Wayne Metals and the Mayors' and Commissioners' Caucus. For more information about the Big Goal Collaborative, visit http://www.neindiana.com/vision/biggoal.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership focused on generating business leads and building regional capacity through product development and effective regional collaboration. The Northeast Indiana Fund (Fund) was created in 2005 to operate as a supporting organization of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, focused specifically on product development and regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. Through its combined efforts in business development and capacity building, the Partnership supports its 10 member counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

Source: Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership