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Center for Vibrant Schools

Center for Vibrant Schools

Launched in 2021, the Marian University Center for Vibrant Schools is a center for school elevation that offers subject-matter expertise, school-improvement programs, and process-enhancement techniques aimed at strengthening student-learning outcomes. We believe every child has a bright future, but some face challenges they cannot tackle alone. Each day, we work with educators and schools to break down barriers hindering student success. Because without addressing these roadblocks, a student’s potential may be at risk. Using comprehensive, personalized support to address the root causes of student struggles, the Center for Vibrant Schools’ faith-focused approach promises a long-lasting impact on communities, helping students and educators shine.

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City Connects - Comprehensive Student Support


Two-thirds of a student’s time is spent outside the classroom and significantly impacts their life and performance at school. Utilizing an evidence-based model from Boston College called City Connects, the Center is working to implement comprehensive, wraparound social- and emotional-support systems in schools, helping ensure students come to class ready to learn and succeed.

The Center for Vibrant Schools is home to the City Connects Midwest Technical Assistance Center, providing service and support to City Connects schools across Indiana, and Ohio.

Learn more about City Connects

Orton-Gillingham Approach - Reading & Math Training, Tutoring

COVID-19 has significantly impacted student learning, with Stanford University estimating some elementary students’ reading skills could be roughly 30 percent behind where they would be in a typical year. A report by McKinsey & Company shows on average students finished the 2020-21 school year four months behind in reading and five months behind in math. Through the nationally recognized Orton-Gillingham Approach, we will work to reduce learning loss caused by COVID-19 disruptions, so students can get back on track and shine.

Because reading is the foundation of learning, specialized educator training and support is available to help drive proficiency and assist in the early identification of dyslexia, a language-based learning disorder impacting a person’s ability to read, write, spell, and pronounce words. Training is also available to help educators adopt proven techniques to help students learn math.

ATTENTION TEACHERS: Join the waitlist for for future Orton-Gillingham trainings

Marian University Preparatory School - Faith-Focused K-12 School

In partnership with Stride, Inc., Marian University launched a new faith-focused, virtual/hybrid K-12 education option called Marian University Preparatory School. Opening in August 2022, Marian University Preparatory School will provide a learning model that blends the best of virtual instruction and face-to-face engagement.

Students will benefit from a high-quality academic schedule that fits their life. In addition to full-time virtual learning, families can elect for full-time hybrid learning known as Prep Plus, which combines virtual and in-person learning for a more hands-on experience. Students will have access to comprehensive support, AP and honors courses, work-based learning opportunities, Marian University’s campus and network, and most importantly, an engaging school community that extends far beyond the classroom. 

Indiana students entering grades 6-9 in the 2022-23 academic year are eligible to enroll at Marian University Preparatory School and begin classes in August.

Discover more about Marian Preparatory School

Other Services

The Center for Vibrant Schools is committed to helping implement innovative and sustainable processes that ensure a school’s longevity. We have cultivated a team of experts who can help educators and schools elevate the work they are already doing. From learning loss recovery to improvement programs, schools at every level can access support. Available programs include:

  • Multi-Tier Systems of Support and Response to Intervention;
  • Teacher and leadership coaching;
  • Accelerated teacher and school site licensing partnerships;
  • Project BUILD - high school equivalency and “Skill Up” certifications; and
  • Board and leadership training, development, marketing, enrollment, and strategic planning for charter and non-public schools.

Request more information about the Center's services

Meet the Staff

robert behning

Robert Behning
Assistant Vice President
Director, Center for Vibrant Schools
(317) 955-6201
Huntington Hall, 008

Samantha Holifield
Director of Marketing and Outreach, Center for Vibrant Schools
(317) 955-6741
Huntington Hall, 008

lindan hill

Lindan Hill, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Center for Vibrant Schools
Assistant Dean, Fred. S. Klipsch Educators College
(765) 513-7866
Huntington Hall, 014

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Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.

Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.

Marian University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana.

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