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SHS students getting college credit though Ivy Tech's Indiana College Core program


Indiana College Core (formerly the Statewide Testing General Education Core) ensures students the ability to earn college credits while still in high school.

Through Ivy Tech, Sullivan has 52 students that will be receiving certificates this year.

This includes the trades — machine, welding and automotive — and technical certificates involving more typical academic disciplines.

“Forty-seven students have committed to walk through graduation ceremonies,” said Southwest School Corp. superintendent Chris Stitzle. “That is very impressive.”

Sullivan High School counselor Katie Couch said that 30 hours of general education credit transfers between public colleges and universities.

“It is a great thing for the kids to get college credit while still in high school, “ she said. “Whether they want to go to college or just graduate and get a job, they still get a chance to learn skills that can help them once they graduate from high school.”

Kristina Wright, the College Connection Coach/Career Coach for the Southwest School Corporation, acts as a liaison between Ivy Tech and Sullivan High School. She said the Indiana College Core credits transfer to all public four-year colleges in Indiana, including Purdue University, IUPUI, Western Governors University, Ball State University, Indiana University, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana State University, University of Southern Indiana and Vincennes University to name a few.

Couch said that students can take classes, but not everyone meets the requirements for a certificate, but they don’t leave empty handed.

“There are a lot of kids that have earned college credits, but don’t have or want to get the 30 hours to receive the certificate,” said Couch. “They can get what they want or need out of the program.”

She said students can earn credits in Written Communication (Advanced Composition) Speaking & Listening (Speech), Quantitative Reasoning (Trigonometry and Calculus, etc.), Scientific Ways of Knowing (Chemistry II, Physics and Biology), Social & Behavioral Ways of Knowing (U.S. History) and Humanistic & Artistic Ways of Knowledge (Advanced Literature).

“Students have to obtain 30 hours in those six different areas,” said Couch. “The technical credits are $25 per credit hour. That means it only cost $150 for 30 credit hours.

“The rest of the program does not have any cost for the students. It is really a great opportunity for them and their families.”

Wright said that each of the six areas have a minimum requirement of three credits, but that Written Communication and Speaking & Listening have a maximum of six credits and that Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Ways of Knowing, Social & Behavioral Ways of Knowing and Humanistic & Artistic Ways of Knowing each have a limit of 12 credits.

“This is a good opportunity for students,” said Wright. “Students that plan on going to college for four years have the chance to finish a year of their college requirements at virtually no cost.

“Students in the trades can use the skills they learned to get a job right after school.”

Couch that SHS has had a big growth in the program due to teachers and their willingness to obtain certificates so they can teach dual credit classes.

There were two certificates awarded in 2015-2016; 15 in 2016-17; 19 in 2017-18; 30 in 2018-19 and 31 in 2019-20.

She added they were able to obtain a comprehensive counseling grant through the Lilly Grant. “Terri Roberts helped us apply for that community foundation grant back in 2017,” said Couch.

“That has allowed us to meet with the parents when students are freshmen and sophomores and let them know about the possibilities of obtaining college credits through Ivy Tech,” said Couch. “These individual meetings with parents allow us to inform them about their children being able to receive dual credits at virtually no cost to them.”

Roberts, who wears many hats for the SWSC including Title I Administrator, High Ability Coordinator and Corporation Test Coordinator, said that four years ago SWSC was fortunate enough to be selected as a first-round recipient of a Lilly Endowment Comprehensive Counseling Initiative Implementation Grant.

“This multi-year initiative was developed to significantly increase the number of Indiana students who are emotionally healthy, realize academic success, graduate from high school, obtain valuable postsecondary credentials necessary for meaningful employment and are prepared to compete and prosper in the global society in which they will live and work,” said Roberts.

“An endeavor this far-reaching required a whole-team approach to help ensure that our students are prepared to meet the challenges they will face as we strive to provide them rich experiences in a culture of high expectations for learning and personal growth.”

Roberts added that one of the six cornerstone activities of the counseling grant included one-to-one parent meetings with their teens and their teen's school counselor.

“These meetings helped set the stage for high school and the numerous possibilities that are available for our students, like dual credit classes and the Indiana College Core program,” she said. “Another counseling grant activity included an expanded partnership with Ivy Tech, dedicating a shared college and career coach to Sullivan High School five days a week and the creation of our Career Resource Center.

“This has been extremely helpful in ensuring that our students have the assistance and guidance that they need to make this opportunity a reality.”

Wright said that a typical certificate runs 18-21 hours and a technical certificate runs 30-31 hours.

She said that Raylie Siscoe is earning the Machine Tool Technology Certificate and a Technical Certificate.

“These, along with most of the credentials at Ivy Tech, are stackable degrees, so all of the 21 credits earned for the certificate apply toward the technical certificate,” said Wright. “And then all 31 credits of the technical certificate apply toward the Associate Degree she will begin working on this fall.”

Also earning certificates include Mattilynn Denham (Mini-Animal Agribusiness), Ernest Cooley

(Maintenance & Light Repair), William Keene (Maintenance & Light Repair), Hezekiah Norris (Maintenance & Light Repair), Noah Ravellette (Maintenance & Light Repair), Makenna Fox (CNA), Bayhlie Mize (CNA), Alexis Reintjes (CNA), Lincoln Hagy (Structural Welding), Kaylee Moore-Cox (Structural Welding) and Jaden Walters (Structural Welding),

Those receiving technical certificates through Indiana College Core are Alanis Shepler, Alexandra Baker, Reagan Banfield, Jessica Baughman, Grant Bell, Mason Bledsoe, Austin Burkhart, Jacob Cavins, Tristan Drake, Madilynn Drury, Seth Dyar, Abigail Fathauer, Hayley Ferree, Kalah Figg, Cara Gofourth, Delaney Graves, Megan Henseler, Landin Huff, Elijah Hughes, Kaylee Jones, Jade Karas, Noah Kincaid, William King, Caleb Knowles, Gage Knowles, Nathan Knowles, Mindy Lai, Courtney Lueking, Elizabeth Monroe, Nicholas Pearison, Brionna Perkinson, Gabriel Pirtle, Andrew Shepler, Peyton Sisil, Anastasia Smith, Debra Smith, Dena Taylor, Rylee Vaught, Audrey Willis and Bonnie Witt.

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