Originally published to The Indianapolis Star on September, 8th, 2022
The Indiana College Core program, formally known as the Statewide Transfer General Education Core, gives high schoolers across the state the unique opportunity to earn college credit through dual-enrollment courses. The mission of the College Core program is for students to choose courses that align best with their postsecondary goals — to provide more options for students when considering their post-graduation futures.
Currently, the College Core program is available at only one in every five Indiana high schools. This equity gap could be attributed to factors such as one’s access to credentialed teachers, a household’s income or even just a lack of program awareness.
Some schools can enter a partnership with Ivy Tech College, where students have access to 30-plus college credits that can transfer seamlessly to public colleges and universities.
Here are three top reasons why all Indiana students should ask their school counselors about participating in the Core program.
- Gain exposure to college expectations
The College Core program is significant in helping narrow down students’ career interests upon entering college. I went to college with the intent of becoming a pharmacist. However, when I had begun the required classes, advanced chemistry and physics, I quickly realized that the field was not for me. Not only was I unprepared for how challenging the courses would be — I was not as passionate about the field as I had expected. If I had received the same dual-credit resources that Indiana College Core offers, I would have saved myself a lot of time. This is the benefit that many students should take advantage of when navigating their career interests. At the Core program, students can complete college-level work in a familiar setting, allowing them the time they need when reflecting on their future.
2. Save! Save! Save!
I’ll get to the point on this one. For most of us, college is an expensive decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The College Core partnership allows students the chance to earn a year of college experience at a fraction of the cost. Families can save nearly $10k toward a year of in-state college tuition on top of the additional savings that come from shaving off a year of campus housing!
3. Set yourself up for success
As previously stated, attending college can be a costly mistake if you’re not prepared for course load. The great thing about the College Core is that it sets students up for postsecondary success. In fact, 94% of high school students who earned the Indiana College Core went on to attend college. In addition, 70% of College Core learners met benchmarks for early success in college, such as completing all courses they attempt in their first year of college — and, most importantly, persisting to their second year of college. We know college isn’t the right path for every student, but we want all of our students to know that the opportunity is there for them and that we are invested in helping them achieve their definition of success.
School Counselors want students to know that no matter what type of school they attend, whether that be a brick-and-mortar school or a virtual one, that we are here to help support them in all their future endeavors. Don’t be afraid to speak with your school counselor today if you think the Indiana College Core could be the right fit for you!
Galloway, who lives in Lebanon with her family, has worked for Indiana Digital Learning School for three years.
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