Hilenbrand Foundation Joins Batesville HS Ivy Tech 2.0 Initiative

Friday, December 9th, 2022 7:45am

By Batesville Community School Corporation, news release

The initiative provides tuition-free college classes to Batesville HS students.

(Batesville, Ind.) - The Batesville Community School Corporation’s (BCSC) initiative to continue to provide tuition-free college classes to Batesville High School (BHS) students received additional support recently with the announcement of a $100,000 donation from the John A. Hillenbrand Foundation, Inc. Begun in 2013, this collaborative community effort has allowed Batesville’s public high schoolers to engage in a variety of learning tracks at Ivy Tech Community College at no cost except for books, saving families an estimated $5 million in tuition and room and board since the project’s launch.

“With the original financial investments for this initiative spent, we are in the process of ensuring that the successes we’ve seen over the past 10 years continue,” said Paul Ketcham, BCSC superintendent. “This generous donation from the John A. Hillenbrand Foundation, combined with the $500,000 we have already received through the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant, puts us well on our way to launching Ivy Tech 2.0—another decade of providing BHS students with an exemplary education through Ivy Tech with no associated tuition costs.”

“The John A. Hillenbrand Foundation Board of Directors approved this grant to support the vision of the Batesville Community Schools to give all students the opportunity to graduate with an advanced education and college credits,” said Bill Hillenbrand, foundation president. “We appreciate BCSC’s commitment to the community to help our youth become successful and productive adults.”

Through the Ivy Tech partnership, BHS students can pursue a variety of targeted course paths. First, students can take enough classes to meet the Indiana College Core (ICC) requirements. The ICC ensures that students have earned 30 hours of general education credits that transfer to Indiana public colleges and universities. This saves families the associated costs from roughly two semesters of college and often allows students to graduate from college early. Second, students can simultaneously obtain an associate’s degree from Ivy Tech while they earn their high school diploma. Last, student can embark on a career/technical pathway at the community college, culminating in earning an industry-recognized work-based certificate for demonstrated mastery of an area.

“The Ivy Tech 2.0 project is our commitment to the Batesville community to continue the journey we began a decade ago,” Ketcham continued. “This endeavor ensures talent recruitment for local employers, amplifies the quality of life, and provides our students with the fertile soil to grow into successful adults. We want to develop students who are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and difference makers. Our strategy for accomplishing success centers on the continuous improvement of current programming and the evolution and expansion of offerings based on the needs of our students and community.”

In addition to the tuition-free opportunities at Ivy Tech, BHS students in the career/technical pathways have been awarded a collective total of more than $20,000 during the past five years in certification testing scholarships, provided by the Batesville Community Education Foundation. This unique program reimburses BHS for all certification-related testing fees so that students in these pathways can earn credentialing at no cost.

“We are fortunate to have so many community partners helping us achieve our goal of providing a high school diploma that means more,” Ketcham concluded. “This significant commitment from the John A. Hillenbrand Foundation puts us one step closer to another 10 years of advanced student success at BCSC and we appreciate the support.

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