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Recently, a group of students from Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College-LaFayette Campus stopped by NSC’s office to prepare for meetings with their members of Congress.
These students are part of Ivy Tech’s Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP), which provides high-school graduates with small group classes and dedicated instructors that help them navigate the coursework, develop productive study habits, and tackle issues at home that may affect their studies. For Ivy Tech, this learning environment has resulted in a higher retention rate. Students participating in the program are required to attend school full time, not work, and continue living with their parents or guardians. Most of them qualify for federal and state grants that cover their tuition, including Pell grants.
NSC’s Senior Policy Analyst Katie Brown and National Network Manager, Jessica Cardott provided students with federal advocacy training in preparation for their visit to D.C. As part of these remote classes, the students learned how to talk about their own experience in navigating financial aid for a career-driven education and discussed how modernizing the Pell grant system and postsecondary data policy could have make this experience easier – all to prepare the students for conversations with their Members of Congress.
NSC hosted the students during their time in D.C, for a final advocacy lesson and “mock” hill visits where they practiced their messages and talking points prepare for meetings with their representatives. During this time, NSC also provided the students with best practices for keeping the momentum going and elevating their conversations on the Hill once back in Indiana.