Program allows Gary students to earn college credits

2013-12-26T18:30:00Z 2013-12-27T09:11:09Z Program allows Gary students to earn college creditsCarmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

GARY | The Gary School Board approved a new dual credit agreement for students.

The latest agreement was approved Dec. 3 with Ivy Tech Community College Northwest for the current year. It will be rolled out for the 2013-14 school year, along with agreements with Vincennes University, Southern University and Southern Indiana University, school officials said.

Gary Community School Corp. Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said the district is on a trimester system, and some of the classes will be starting soon.

"Our goal is to make certain we offer additional opportunities for our students as they transition into higher education. We want them to be college- and career-ready and graduate from high school, going directly into an internship, associate degree, college or a job," she said.

This most recent agreement with Ivy Tech allows students at the Gary Area Career Center to take career and technical education programs to garner college credit for a variety of programs and courses.

The programs include early childhood education, auto technology I and auto body collision repair, building trades I and II and welding classes. There are 16 classes in all under those categories.

John Newby, Ivy Tech assistant vice chancellor for K-12 initiatives, said the courses will be taught by high school instructors who have met Ivy Tech's credentialing requirements.

"The high school teacher must have the same qualifications as a teacher teaching on our campus," he said. "If we have an agreement in place, that means we have checked it. We also require professional development training for all high school teachers who teach dual credit coursework. We provide them with information about our grading standards, our policies and the paperwork that is provided for our processes. They are expected to follow our curriculum, use our syllabus, our assignments, end-of-course assessments, tests and quizzes."

Ivy Tech Community College offers classes free of charge to high school students. Ivy Tech has an agreement in place with several local public, private and charter schools, saving families millions of dollars. Thousands of students across the state are enrolled in dual credit programs, and many have graduated from high school with associate degrees.

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