A new partnership between Indiana State University and the Vigo County School Corporation aims to help students finish college ahead of schedule. The Early College program allows graduates of Vigo County public high schools to finish a four-year college degree in three years.
March 23, 2015
Graduates of Vigo County public high schools will be able to complete a four-year college degree in just three years thanks to a new partnership with Indiana State University.
The Early College program will allow participating students to complete their freshman year of college by the end of the summer following high school graduation.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Vigo County families,” said Indiana State University President Dan Bradley. “The Early College partnership is Indiana State's latest effort to help more Indiana residents complete a four-year degree while also reducing the cost of a college education. The Vigo County School Corporation and Indiana State's College Challenge team are to be commended for developing this visionary program.”
Danny Tanoos, Vigo County School Corporation superintendent, said the Early College initiative “is a win-win for our high school students. They are able to remain in high school during their senior year but also accumulate credits for college simultaneously. Earning college credits while still in high school enables students to experience the new challenges of college while still in the familiar high school environment.”
In 2013-14, more than 1,300 high school students were enrolled in College Challenge classes through Indiana State, an increase of more than 50 percent in just two years and enrollment for 2014-15 is on track to exceed last year, said Jill Blunk, director of College Challenge.
“The number and variety of dual-credit courses has also increased exponentially in recent years and Vigo County School Corporation students may now move directly into specific degree programs at Indiana State,” Blunk said. “The Early College program will allow students to take selected dual credit courses in the junior and senior years of high school, along with Indiana State courses in ISU's summer session, and enter Indiana State as a sophomore in the fall after high school graduation.”
Students will complete a combination of foundational studies classes and major core classes as high school juniors and seniors for a total of 30 credit hours that are directly applicable to their chosen college major. Eligible programs represent the top five majors Vigo County School Corp. graduates select at Indiana State:
• Pre-business/business administration
• Pre-elementary education
• Criminology and criminal justice
Thanks to the significantly reduced tuition rate for College Challenge courses and scholarships for summer course enrollment, the Early College program will save students nearly $16,000 off the total cost of a four-year degree, Blunk said. The savings will be even greater for students on free or reduced-price lunches, she noted.
To participate in the program, students must be on a Core 40 or better diploma track, have a minimum 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, and submit an Early College application along with high school transcripts. While many components are already in place, the full program will be in operation for high school juniors this fall.
More information about Early College is available at Vigo County School Corp. high schools or by contacting Blunk at 812-237-2670 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Indiana State University