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The Indiana Commission for Higher Education said it “warmly welcomed and supported” the plan. The Indiana Chamber called it a “strong initiative.” An editorial in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star said it’s “important and necessary.”

small class sizes, caring professors and a culture of inclusion and support. We also offer a wide breadth of academic and extracurricular options, with world-class faculty who work with undergraduates in state-of-the-art facilities.

The Indiana State Advantage emphasizes ISU’s quality, breadth of opportunity, and affordability while supporting the state of Indiana’s goals around degree completion, equity, and talent.

“Opportunity, quality, and affordability — this is our value proposition to citizens of the great state of Indiana and beyond.”

It is designed to attract students to ISU’s beautiful campus, where a private college learning approach complements the benefits of a public institution. A website (indstate.edu/advantage) has more detail and a major advertising campaign launched in September. ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said the Indiana State Advantage is not just a unique, compelling offer to incoming students but a description of the overall student experience of Sycamores. “The Indiana State Advantage is what we do together every day to educate and graduate our wonderful students,” Curtis said. “We offer high-quality education,

The Indiana State Advantage involves realignment of existing resources, distributing them in a way that benefits all first-time, full-time students on campus. Another distinctive aspect of ISU — individual support for students — will be bolstered even further by a $6.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant will be used for “Sycamores Achieve,” a new program to improve retention and graduation rates of firstgeneration college students and students who qualify for federal Pell Grants. ISU’s Strategic Plan for 2021-25 was designed to impact enrollment, retention, and graduation through measurable performance indicators connected with the plan’s five main goals.

BY DIANNE FRANCES D. POWELL

Environmental Geoscience professor is prime example of the Indiana State Advantage Professor Jeffery Stone of ISU’s Department of Earth and Environmental Systems has produced more than 20 journal publications in the last two years. He is also an example of the Indiana State Advantage and its emphasis on experiential learning and undergraduate research opportunities with ISU’s world-class faculty. “In our department, we have a culture of having undergraduate students join the labs relatively early and engage in research from the time they first start,” Stone said. “For me, that’s unique about Indiana State.” Stone also mentors undergraduate and graduate students in his department and outside his department every summer as

Dr. Jeffery Stone, professor of Environmental Geoscience at Indiana State University, and his students, frequently use the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to examine samples. The SEM is in a laboratory in the Science Building.

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FALL/WINTER 2021

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