COSMOS launches first State Earn and Learn in CNA/Pre-Nursing and Education

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COSMOS launches first State Earn and Learn in CNA/Pre-Nursing and Education

INDIANAPOLIS (April 9, 2021) – The Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship announced on April 8 a partnership with COSMOS, the collaboration of Shoals, Mitchell, and Orleans schools, in developing two Indiana State Earn and Learn programs in Education Careers and Pre-Nursing.

Starting with the class of 2025, students who participate in these programs will receive Ivy Tech dual credits, multiple nationally recognized industry certifications, and opportunities for paid work-based learning with local business partners.

Indiana State Earn and Learn programs, or SEALs, are one of the highest forms of comprehensive work-based learning programs available in Indiana and are celebrated as best practice across the state and country.

The April 8th ceremony was held at Gus Grissom Memorial Museum in Mitchell.

In 2020, the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and COSMOS began the planning stages of offering two new career and technical education opportunities to students. Typical of the innovative educational practices of COSMOS, the programs are collaborative between schools and industry and meet the local economic demands of the region.

The Education Professions SEAL will be the first of its kind for the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship. The Pre-Nursing/CNA SEAL will partner with local health career providers like Trilogy and Ascension St. Vincent Dunn, providing students will clear options for post-graduation work and higher education obtainment. With both a teacher and nursing shortage hitting Indiana, students will have more opportunities to gain career insight and experiences while earning a wage and serving their community. 

Superintendent of Mitchell Schools, Dr. Grant Comer, shared his thoughts on the project. 

“A core component of COSMOS’ mission is the promotion of innovation through partnerships,” he said. “This program and the quality partnerships represented fits the mission’s definition. The SEAL program will prove the greatest gains that can only occur when school and business collaborate, innovate, and work together. Greater gains will be possible through the continued encouragement and support of agencies like the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship and the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet."

Superintendent of Shoals Dr. Candace Roush, added, “Small schools are often striving for ways to maintain their own identity but also provide the benefits and course offerings of larger schools. The SEAL program between the three schools continues to demonstrate that small schools can come together and share programs and resources in a very successful way.”

Additionally, Superintendent of OCS James Ellis said, “Orleans Community Schools is excited about the opportunities that the SEAL program provides for the students in COSMOS. The partnership between Shoals, Mitchell and Orleans Schools has allowed all three school corporations to grow in ways that each couldn’t by themselves. COSMOS will continue to seek out partnerships and opportunities that will benefit our students going forward. We are also thankful for the support that the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship and the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet have given to COSMOS and to its students.”

Tina Peterson, President of Regional Opportunity Initiatives Inc. and a major supporter of COSMOS, said, “Working collectively, the three districts that comprise COSMOS have seen possibility where others might have only seen barriers. Working together, these three districts in neighboring counties have blurred the lines and sharpened their focus. They have shown that innovative pathways across districts can not only become a reality but also provide more equitable and accessible opportunities for students. We are inspired by the way COSMOS has leveraged the ROI Ready Schools initiative to provide pathways for students into high-demand, high-opportunity career fields available right here in the Indiana Uplands. It’s a game changer for students, employers, and the region."

SEALs are Indiana’s state-level apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. They are designed to deliver work-and-learn experience for participants along with the skills and certifications that employers value. These programs are geared toward both adult and youth populations and satisfy Indiana’s new graduation pathway requirements.

For more information about the COSMOS SEAL, or SEALs in general, visit the OWBLA website at or email the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship at




About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.

About the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship
The Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship, located within the Department of Workforce Development and part of Governor Holcomb’s NextLevel Agenda, serves to develop and implement a framework of work-based learning pathways for both youth and adult populations with a concentration on certified State Earn and Learn (SEAL) and U.S. DOL Registered Apprenticeship programs.

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