EPN Grant Critical Terminology and Frequently Asked Questions

Critical Terminology

Cradle to career – Cradle to career is defined as a robust education that ensures youth are set up for success and can reach their full potential. From birth through the first 20 years of their life, Cradle to career is the process by which supportive learning environments can maximize student learning and positively shape social and behavioral development.

Wrap around services – Wrap around services are defined as having a two-generational approach. The thinking is that not only is this an initiative to help with children, but also the entire family who may be confronted with barriers that impact how they function. This is a long-term method with evidence-based practices that will work to dramatically improve educational outcomes. An example of this type of care in action can be seen in George Washington Community High School near IUPUI in Indianapolis. A national model for community schools, in 2009, 100% of graduates were accepted to postsecondary education due to intense wrap-around care services provided at the school. Services included dental care on-site, translation services for families, job training for parents, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the grant benefit UE students, staff and faculty?

The Evansville Promise Neighborhood (EPN) builds upon UE's long-standing commitment to understanding and serving the needs of the local community. Through this initiative, all of the UE family will have the opportunity to empower Evansville Promise Neighborhood residents to dream boldly. Everyone will also benefit as UE’s reputation and brand awareness increase on a national scale. This will give us a competitive edge for further state, federal, and private foundation and corporation funding opportunities, and a distinction with prospective students. We believe UE is now the only college in the nation to be both a Promise Neighborhood host and an Ashoka Changemaker Campus.

What’s the difference between the Promise Neighborhood and the Promise Zone?

Promise Zones and Promise Neighborhoods are distinct initiatives in the US, both aiming to uplift disadvantaged communities but with different focuses. Promise Zones address broader community revitalization, while Promise Neighborhoods target child and family well-being through tailored resources and services.

In June of 2016, the city of Evansville received a federal 10-year Promise Zone designation to support its most at-risk, yet most promising neighborhoods within its urban core. Promise Zones are specific areas facing economic and social challenges, collaborating with various agencies to address issues like poverty, unemployment, housing, education, and public safety. ECHO Housing serves as the head organization and the City’s Department of Metropolitan Development as the lead partner. An additional 25 agencies, nonprofits, and businesses assist in developing strategies and mobilizing resources to support the Zone’s initiatives.

In contrast, Promise Neighborhoods are community-based programs that focus on enhancing the well-being of children and families in disadvantaged neighborhoods. These initiatives prioritize comprehensive support, encompassing education, healthcare, housing, and family services. They collaborate closely with local entities to disrupt the cycle of poverty and create pathways for children's success.

What funds will UE receive?

As the housing agent for the grant, UE is the lead fiscal agent, contractor for data evaluation and visioning sessions through LE, employer for the EPN full-time team, and a service partner provider through a range of programs. UE’s CIC will house the five full-time employees dedicated to the Promise Neighborhood. Its Director, Grant Accountant, Program Coordinator, Marketing Coordinator, and Data and Program Evaluation Manager, will work with Diehl Consulting (DCG) and ChangeLab students from a wide variety of disciplines interested in community surveying. UE will also receive its Indirect Rate on the new positions and fringe, as well as supplies (computers, etc.) for those new employees. In addition, we will receive funds to contract with an external evaluator DCG to handle the program evaluation, access to a database and training funds to coordinate data between partners, and funds to contract with Leadership Everyone for Neighborhood visioning sessions as part of the continuous improvement plan. We’ll also receive funding for Journey to Justice, UExplorer, Springboard, and Pathfinder scholarships and supplies. Funding will be allocated for stipends for ChangeLab teachers, program managers, and coordinators at the schools, along with supplies for those projects, and annual professional development for the team starting during year two. The funding will also be critical for UE to assist in providing travel support to get EPN students to events on campus, developing the EPN to UE pipeline, and access to professional development funds for site visits to other Promise Neighborhoods.

What’s the difference between match and grant?

Match is what the organization is providing to the effort, grant funds are what the organization will receive. The DOE requires the community provide at minimum a 1:1 match with the $30,000,000 (partners came together with over $32,000,000). It is important to note that it is not a 1:1 match for each partner, but for the effort overall. Some partners might match more than they receive, some might match less.

How will this grant impact services provided by the Center for Innovation and Change?

The CIC will focus on setting up the full-time EPN staff over the course of the next year, but there are planning funds in the grant to assist with this; including a grant implementation consultant and HR consultants to help with a national search for the Neighborhood Director. The program funds the CIC will receive in future years will scale the programming it already provides including ChangeLabs, design thinking, professional development, and supplies for faculty and student projects. The funds will support coordinators at each school to help scope out faculty ChangeLabs and projects related to the Neighborhood and provide a stipend for a contracted ChangeLab manager so the initiative will have one point of contact. This scales the CIC’s capacity to serve our community while keeping the current team available for the on campus and in community work they already support and coordinate. The main impact will be in limiting the Center’s ability to take on additional larger-scale projects over the course of the next year, but the team is highly adaptable, and already working closely to manage workflow so there is minimal disruption.

If services are provided primarily to students and families who attend the six designated schools, what is the direct benefit to students who live in the Promise Neighborhood but don’t attend one of the six schools?

While specific schools were required to be included in the application as focus schools, wrap-around care coordination and universal services offered throughout the Neighborhood will impact children and families beyond the focus schools, particularly due to Evansville’s mobility challenges. Census tracts and Neighborhoods were selected, but the core team utilized a student and neighborhood level analysis. The two levels of analysis allowed for a richer understanding of the EPN. For example, when school population data for high school graduation rates are examined, the rates include students who live outside of the PN focus area and those families from all socio-economic backgrounds. Consequently, these rates do not accurately reflect the needs of students living in the neighborhood. However, the neighborhood analysis does. For instance, the team discovered only 60 percent of students in EPN graduated from high school compared to 83 percent of students living outside the area.

How can the University community best support this initiative?

Be patient as the EPN team receives information and develops a system to communicate that to the partner organizations. This is the first time our community has ever had a PN, so infrastructure development will take some time (and is planned for in the grant implementation). If interested, read the narrative available on the DOE’s website, check out the more detailed executive summary, and then contact either Derek (DM380) or Lisa (LA156) with ideas or to be placed on a list to get more information when ChangeLab funding arrives. Post questions on the landing page as they come up so an FAQ can be developed and refreshed. While project needs will be developed in partnership with students, teachers, and families during visioning sessions, how those projects are scoped out will be developed by our faculty and students with the support of the CIC. After reading the narrative, project outcomes, and summary, if you have an idea for a project that your students could conduct that might help, please do not hesitate to reach out to the CIC.

Will the grant have a direct financial impact on the University?

As the fiscal agent for the Evansville Promise Neighborhood, all funds will flow through the University. All costs associated with the EPN team at UE will be covered by grant funds. The University is providing match in the form of time and effort of a select number of existing positions that provide EPN programing such as CIC, Youth Programming, and CDEI; support services for the EPN team; and youth programs for EPN targeted students. University programming built into the grant budget includes ChangeLab courses and coordinators, summer camps, Journey to Justice scholarships, CDEI trainers, and after school programming support. The University will receive indirect costs each year based on our established negotiated rate.