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The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis recently announced the endorsement of the Early College (EC) program at Southridge High School in Huntingburg as highly effective in implementing with fidelity the Eight Core Principles of Early College. The Early College program at Southridge began in 2018, and this year will graduate 30 students with the Indiana College Core Certificate (ICC) from Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville. The ICC is a 30-hour block of college credits transferable to all public higher education institutions in Indiana. Additionally, one student will graduate with an associate’s degree and two students will earn a college Certificate in Maintenance and Light
Repair.

“We are honored to be endorsed by CELL as an Early College. Through the tremendous efforts and support of our corporate office, parents, community, past and present faculty, and students we have made a multi-year process and goal a reality. We look forward to continuous improvement and maximizing the opportunities Southridge High School students encounter during their experience with us.” Greg Gogel – Principal, Southridge High School

The Early College high school model creates cohorts within schools that are designed to give students jumpstarts for the rest of their lives. Students can earn both high school diplomas and up to two years of credit toward bachelor’s or associate degrees. While open to all students, Early College programs specifically serve low-income young people, first-generation college students, English language learners, and students of color – all statistically underrepresented in higher education.

To be considered for endorsement, the school prepared a portfolio that addressed the eight required principles established by CELL including providing a rigorous curriculum, robust student supports, and completion data. In addition, a CELL team visited the school to interview the administration, teachers, students, and parents about the EC and its benefits and challenges before designating the program as endorsed.

“These newly-endorsed Early College High Schools have documented evidence of quality programs that help high school students graduate high school and accelerate into post-secondary education, whether at a four-year institution or a career/technical program. These students’ accomplishments are true game-changers for them and their families!” said Sandy Hillman, CELL Director of Early College. “The EC School Leadership Team at Southridge High School under the leadership of Principal Greg Gogel is commended for its strong commitment to blurring the line between high school and post-secondary education.”

CELL, at the University of Indianapolis, is a leading convener, catalyst, and collaborator for dynamic, innovative education change in Indiana. It has trained over 175 high schools across the state in the fundamentals of Early College and endorsed 47 Early Colleges as of March of 2023.

Once a school receives endorsement, it is expected to further develop its opportunities and will be reviewed for re-endorsement every three years.
For more information, contact Sandy Hillman, Director of Early College hillmans@uindy.edu

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