The National Science Foundation has awarded a $4 million grant to Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana and the IUPUI School of Informatics and Computing. The schools say the grant will be used to address workforce opportunities in informatics among "academically talented, economically disadvantaged and underrepresented minority high school graduates."

The goal of the grant is to see 140 students receive associate's or bachelor's degrees and place them in the IT work force in five years. The schools expect to see a 90 percent success rate among African Americans, Hispanic Americans and other underrepresented minorities taking part in the program.

"This Scholarship – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics grant from the National Science Foundation will help address a critical need for growing the IT workforce, while reaching out to low-income high school graduates,” said Mathew Palakal, executive associate dean of the IUPUI School of Informatics and Computing. "The consortium arrangement between the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI and Ivy Tech will provide a national model for two-year to four-year college transition in the S-STEM context."

The program will include mentoring, internships and service learning, among other "high-impact practices." The schools say, in the past, these practices have been shown to improve the level of critical thinking, active learning, academic performance and graduation rates among students.