Indiana Agriculture and Technology School (IATS), an Indiana public charter school, has announced its expansion of services to the southern Indiana region. The announcement came at a press conference held on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana Friday, September 17.
“Agriculture is of vital importance to our state and USI is developing and offering coursework to add to the educational curriculum our students want and need,” said Ronald S. Rochon, USI President. “I have two degrees in agriculture and it has been foundational to the person I’ve become. The future of the food we grow, harvest and that which nourishes our communities should be all of our concern and USI is delighted to be part of the educational chain to enhance that knowledge.”
IATS, based in Central Indiana with a farm campus near Trafalgar, offers programs for 7th-12th grade students dedicated to the sciences of agriculture and technology. Students have the option to pursue programs towards earning an Indiana Core 40 diploma or career pathways in agribusiness and in industries with projected growth in the state. All students have the opportunity to combine online learning with hands-on experiences in agriculture, conservation, and environmental sciences.
“USI has enabled our organization to expand the campus across the state and to provide a virtual component to the students, which allows us to meet and serve the needs of more students across the state,” said Keith Marsh, Executive Director and Chief Academic Officer of IATS. “Our expansion to Indiana’s southern region not only provides a footprint in this part of the state, it also enables us to grow diversity within our school.”
USI was approved as a charter school authorizer by the Indiana State Board of Education in August. Authorizers are the entities that decide who can start a new charter school, set academic and operational expectations, and oversee school performance. They also decide whether a charter should remain open or close at the end of its contract.
“As an authorizer, USI will play a role in expanding educational opportunities for students in urban and rural areas,” noted Dr. Mohammed Khayum, USI Provost. “Our intention is to improve families’ access to quality charter schools, provide school communities the autonomy they need for schools to excel and collaborate with partner schools to assure high quality performance.”
“Indiana Agriculture and Technology School intentionally provides a platform that offers students hands-on experiences, to apply lessons from the classroom to real life situations,” said Rev. Larry Rascoe, IATS Southern Region Coordinator and Pastor of Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church in Evansville. “IATS is ‘beginning with the end in mind’ by considering career paths as students learn to become self-advocates for their own future.”
For more information about IATS, visit their website at https://indiana.ag.