By Jake Griffin
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Students at Lawrenceburg High School now have an additional opportunity to start college more prepared than most, in part due to college-level experiences being offered through the University of Indianapolis' Early College program.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the high school will begin offering its students the opportunity to participate in this innovative prep program. The goal: to help high schoolers get a few college credits under their belt before they even step foot on a college campus.
The endorsements were awarded this month by the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning at the University of Indianapolis, the organization selected by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to certify Early College programs.
Other Indiana schools receiving the same three-year endorsements are Center Grove High School near Greenwood, Connersville Senior High School, and East Chicago Central High School. The four new schools join the state’s three previously recognized Early College programs at Ben Davis University High School, Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School in Indianapolis and Bellmont Early College High School in Decatur, bringing the state’s total to seven.
Most Indiana high schools offer dual-credit courses that can give students a head start on college, CELL Assistant Director Janet Boyle said, but so far only a few have met the criteria established in the state for a true Early College program.
To receive the Early College endorsement, a high school must have implemented the Early College model for at least two years and must adhere to its eight core principles, involving such factors as curriculum, instruction, leadership, school culture, student support and data analysis.
Thanks to this experience, many high school students will arrive onto college campuses with not only more confidence that they can handle college coursework, but a number of college credits, as well.
The advantages of picking up some college credits while in high school are numerous. Students will pick up time management skills and become more responsible with what they choose to do with their time when juggling the high school and college workload. And, if they do well enough to receive the college credits, themselves – and possibly parents – save money on college education, since they won’t need to retake those courses come first semester at an institution of higher education.