Manchester College students and two recent graduates will create an economic index to help Wabash County woo business and industry. The start-up project – underwritten by a $16,000 grant from Ball Brothers Foundation Venture Fund – will serve as a model for other rural areas, said John Deal, chair of the College’s economics program. A release from Manchester explains:
“This analysis will show the industrial strengths that will hopefully draw employers to the area,” said Deal, who is guiding the project with Matt Hendryx, visiting associate professor of economics. The goal is to generate three or four economic reports annually, beginning in April 2012.
The economic reports will help Wabash County forecast area economic potential and outlook, said economics minor Karla Conrad of Pleasant Lake, Ind., who graduated with honors in May. This summer, she is gleaning data from public records with economics and accounting major Jason Elliott, who also graduated in May.
In the fall, they will hand off the project to two current Manchester students with strong grasps of statistics and economic principals. “We are building a foundation for others to work off of,” said Elliott, of Goshen, Ind., who will seek a graduate degree in environmental economics at Duke University. Conrad will seek a graduate degree in economic system design at Chapman University.
The Ball Brothers Foundation grant, administered by Independent Colleges of Indiana, is funding the project startup costs, including those associated with establishing relationships in the local business community, generating data, software and technology.
Elliott and Conrad are working closely with Bill Konyha, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Group of Wabash County Inc., who is connecting them with area banking and industry officials.
After the first year of the project, it is hoped that sustaining support will come from area businesses and relationships, Deal said. In addition to updated reports, the students will create a guide for other communities to replicate the project.
Recipients of grants from the Ball Brothers Foundation Venture Fund share $75,000 in seed funding for their start-up initiatives to stimulate creativity and innovation and foster competition and collaboration among the state’s 31 independent colleges and universities.
Did you know that the inventor of Teflon® graduated from a small, liberal arts college in northern Indiana? Or that the person who discovered acid rain in North America graduated from the very same school? Also, count a Nobel Laureate in chemistry and the first female commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration among its graduates.
Manchester College, alma mater of those impressive alumni, has proven that it can turn out highly achieving graduates in various scientific disciplines. And with the help of a $35 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, the school is now able to delve into a new field with the opening of its School of Pharmacy in 2012.
The grant is the largest in Manchester’s history and will allow the college to start its first doctoral program on a Fort Wayne campus, where it will be surrounded by hospitals, pharmacies and health care facilities. When the school is accredited, it will enroll 265 students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
The college announced that it was planning to seek accreditation for a four-year doctoral pharmacy program in the fall of 2009, responding to a shortage of pharmacists and pharmacy school openings.
This new school comes at a time when there is also a growing physician shortage across the nation, enabling more students to pursue careers in pharmacy while staying in Indiana and helping to quell the brain drain. In our current edition of BizVoice® magazine, we explore the ways that pharmacists have been taking on a greater role in the health care system, helping to fill the gap left by a shortage of doctors. For all the details, read the full story in BizVoice.
Manchester College, in North Manchester, offered a "triple guarantee" Tuesday regarding what it can offer its students. During the announcement, President Jo Young Switzer offered the following educational trifecta for the private college’s incoming students:
1. Financial aid for all full-time students, and full tuition for academically strong low-income students who live in Indiana
2. Graduation within four years for all full-time students or receive free tuition for credits you need to graduate in five years
3. A job or post-graduate school within six months of graduation, or return for a full year tuition-free
“As families work hard to find money for college, those of us at Manchester continue our commitment to open the doors of a college education to students, to offer class schedules and advising and support so they can graduate in four years, and to prepare students for careers and jobs after college.”
Earlier this year, I featured the school’s Fast Forward program in BizVoice, which outlines how the college is offering an accelerated path to graduation for students who qualify. Pretty encouraging, as Manchester’s efforts show the importance of forward-thinking in a world that desperately needs answers to the tough questions proposed by the nation’s educational challenges.
Parents have enough to worry about these days when it comes to finances. "Do we have enough money to pay for utilities and go to Kings Island?" After all, the Vortex won’t ride itself. Or "can we afford those organic cereals with the adorable koalas and gorillas on the boxes?" Granted, those Panda Puffs might provide for a fantastic explosion of taste and peanut buttery excitement, but losing the aspartame comes at a price, folks.
And as the cost of living continues to rise, so do tuition prices for many Indiana parents hoping to help their children aspire for higher learning. One way to combat this financial scourge is simply for students to spend less time at school. Leading the charge in the Midwest, Manchester College has applied its three-year Fast Forward program to all 55 of its majors.
While critics argue the program deprives students of the full college experience, Manchester claims some Fast Forward students can still study abroad and take part in many extracurricular activities, depending on the major.
To read more about the program, turn to the Chamber’s BizVoice magazine.