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Butler receives Lilly Endowment grant to help graduates transition to careers

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Butler University has received a $999,952 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to create Butler Advance, a program focused on helping students—especially those in the liberal arts—further cultivate key attributes needed for professional success and the transition to careers in Indiana.

The program will include collaborations with the Central Indiana business, non-profit, and higher education communities. It will involve summer and academic year components promoting integrated academic and career advising, exploration, experiential learning, and career preparation by emphasizing the applicability of liberal arts skills to employment in business, non-profit, and government environments.

A central element of Butler Advance will be a four-week intensive summer program, beginning in 2015, open to interested students from all Indiana colleges and universities, as well as Indiana residents who go to school out of state. The summer program will allow students to apply the liberal arts skills they are learning in their degree programs to case studies and interactive exercises. The students will also be provided with hands-on practice in communication, teamwork, and creative problem solving.

In addition to the opportunity to hone students’ liberal-arts-based skills that employers desire, participants will be introduced to business fundamentals in marketing, finance, accounting, and economics. Through interactions with executive leaders and innovators from across Indiana, students will be able to develop critical career management and leadership skills. And, they will participate in project-based learning at Indianapolis area business, non-profit, and government organizations that are partners with the program.

Butler students who complete the Butler Advance program will have the continuing support of University internship and career services advising and networking.

“Butler University is pleased that Lilly Endowment saw the benefits Butler Advance will provide to Indiana college graduates,” President James M. Danko said. “Students who participate in the program will be ready to ‘hit the ground running’ as flexible, innovative, teamwork-oriented employees.”

Butler College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Jay Howard added, “Butler Advance will help students recognize the skills they develop in a liberal arts curriculum and articulate how beneficial they are to Indiana employers.”

Funding for Butler Advance comes from the Endowment’s Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations, which funds activities that improve the job prospects of college graduates in Indiana.

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