Representatives from area highs schools, school corporations, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Center of Excellence in Leadership and Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis met on November 10 on the Ivy Tech Lafayette campus to discuss bringing more college credit opportunities to high school students. The luncheon was co-hosted by CELL and Ivy Tech’s Office of Secondary Initiatives as a follow-up to CELL’s Early College New Schools Workshop, held in early September in Indianapolis.
Tyonka Perkins, Assistant Director of Educational Initiatives at CELL discussed key elements of the Early College model and answer questions about implementation in high schools. Early College offers opportunities to earn college credit up to the first two years of college, including earning an associate degree, while completing a high school diploma. Currently there are eight fully endorsed Early College High Schools in Indiana, though none are designated in the Lafayette region.
“Early College High School allows high school students to earn college credit within an environment of enhanced supports that removes barriers and helps students achieve academic success,” said Ms. Perkins. “The program is open to all students, but specifically serves first-generation, low-income and other underserved students for whom society often has low aspirations for postsecondary success.”
Early College is different from dual credit programs currently offered in high schools. Early College students can begin as early as ninth grade, while dual credit opportunities are typically available to juniors or seniors. Early College courses include up to two years of dual credit coursework, while dual credit courses focus on core courses normally taken during the first year of college. Early College involves eight core principles for program implementation, including curriculum pathways, rigorous instruction, and supports for students.
“College degree attainment is critical for the long term economic health of Indiana,” said Dr. John Newby, Assistant Vice President for K-12 Initiatives for Ivy Tech Community College. “Ivy Tech is the key to increasing the number of Indiana residents who hold a college degree. Early College is another way that Ivy Tech contributes to Indiana’s workforce development.”
“I’m impressed by the commitment of Lafayette area high schools in developing this innovative option for their students,” Josh Morrison, Director of Secondary Initiatives at Ivy Tech Lafayette said. “Early College provides a goal for students and makes a college degree a reality to those who otherwise may have never considered higher education.”
Area high schools and corporations in attendance at the luncheon include Attica Consolidated School Corporation, Central Catholic High School, Clinton Prairie High School, Covington High School, Excel Center, Fountain Central High School, Harrison High School, Lafayette Jefferson High School, McCutcheon High School, MSD of Warren County, North Newton High School, North White High School, North White School Corporation, Rensselaer High School, Rossville High School, Seeger Memorial High School, Southeast Fountain School Corporation, Tippecanoe School Corporation, and West Central High School.
ABOUT IVY TECH
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities. In addition, its courses and programs transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.
Ivy Tech Community College Lafayette serves Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties with campuses in Lafayette, Crawfordsville, Monticello and Frankfort. Ivy Tech Lafayette touches the lives of over 12,000 students each academic year and offers associate degrees and certificates in 42 programs in the areas of business, health sciences, computing, technology, nursing, public services, education, applied science, engineering technology, and liberal arts.