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High school students across Northwest Indiana get ready to graduate
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High school students across Northwest Indiana get ready to graduate

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Students across Northwest Indiana are wrapping up their senior year and getting ready for college and careers. Many have earned college credit through dual credit programs at their high schools, and a few have already earned college degrees.

Dual credit is a program in which high school students can earn both high school and college credits simultaneously. Dual credit courses are taught by high school faculty, adjunct college faculty or college faculty either at the high school, at the college or university or through online courses.

Local high schools have dual credit arrangements with a number of local and statewide colleges and universities.

Raven Osborne, who turns 19 in August, made national news when she earned her baccalaureate degree May 5 from Purdue University Northwest, before graduating from 21st Century Charter School in Gary set for tonight.

Winoska Medina, who will graduate from Lighthouse College Prep Academy in Gary on June 11, is another success story.

Medina, 18, of East Chicago, earned an associate degree May 13 through Ivy Tech Community College via the American Honors program. Ivy Tech has had the American Honors program at the East Chicago campus since fall 2014. It also is offered at the Valparaiso campus.

American Honors is a nationally recognized, selective honors program offered at community colleges across the country. It helps students find, prepare for and transfer to other colleges to earn their bachelor's degrees. It features smaller classes, one-on-one advising and a national transfer network of four-year schools to enable American Honors students to meet their full potential.

Ivy Tech officials said Lighthouse is the only high school in Indiana that has this partnership with American Honors.

Ivy Tech's American Honors Director Danielle Hughes said the first thing that stood out about Medina was her level of commitment and drive for academics.

"In my first advising appointment with her I learned that not only was she taking on this full load while she was in high school, but she also worked," Hughes said. "In spite of this, she made no excuses for herself, which I typically see in students who are juggling multiple responsibilities. Not Winoska; she made it clear that she wanted all As and Bs.”

Medina, who is also Lighthouse's valedictorian, said she will attend Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis and major in psychology.

"I'd like to eventually get a master's degree and work with juveniles," she said by telephone.

"This has given me a head start. There were times when I had a lot going on, but I believe this will make my transition to college easier," Medina said.

More high school grads now have college credits

Ivy Tech officials said this school year, there were 4,568 dual credit students in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties, taking 453 classes. Four of those students earned associate degrees — two from 21st Century Charter School and two from Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy, both in Gary.

Nineteen students from the Hammond Area Career Center University celebrated their achievements March 20. These students were part of the career center's early college program supervised by Vincennes University. Of the 19, nine earned associate degrees, four earned statewide transfer with a general education certificate and six earned directed-studies certificates.

Portage High School Principal Max Gill said the school offers multiple dual credit classes, and has arrangements with Purdue Northwest, IU Bloomington, IU Northwest, Ivy Tech and Vincennes. He said several of the 570 graduates have earned dual credits.

Porter County Career Center Principal/Director Jon Groth said dual credit programs are offered through the career and technical classes, and many students have graduated from high school with as many as 30 college credits.

Michigan City High School Principal Bonnie Manuel said of the 1,700 students, 351 are seniors.

"This year's seniors have earned more than 3,500 college credits," she said.

"Dual credit has become such a demand for our community. We currently offer 29 dual credit classes. It's a great advantage for our community and students, and it's a great feeder for our students into colleges. They go in well-prepared for what's going to be required of them."

Students garner scholarships, awards

Dozens of graduating high school students have scored impressive scholarships, honors and awards this school year.

Highland High School senior Alexander Fitt won the Lilly Scholarship and the Cox Scholarship at Indiana University, Bloomington, which means he will be attending IU with no cost for tuition or housing. 

Highland senior Zachary Fraley will attend Harvard University but hasn't received his financial package yet.

Fraley is the school valedictorian, and Fitt is salutatorian.

Nine students from Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties who want to pursue a career in education are among the recipients of the first Next Generation Educator Scholarship, which will pay $7,500 per year for up to four years to students who obtain their teaching license and commit to teaching in Indiana for five consecutive years.

Those students are Emily Couch, Lowell High School; Jaycee Hopper and Sophie Nonos, Crown Point High School; and Theresa Ross, Highland High School in Lake County.

In Porter County, the winners are Emma Havrilla, Portage High School; Carson Krutz, Valparaiso High School; and Rachel Pauer, Hebron High School.

In LaPorte County, the winners are Courtney Lindquist, LaPorte High School, and Hannah Tubb, Michigan City High School.

Graduation schedules for Region schools- SPREADSHEET

School Unknown field 1 Graduation Date Grad location Grad Time-details
21st Century 22-May School, 556 Washington St., Gary 6 p.m.
Marquette High School 25-May School, 360 W. 10th St., Michigan City 7 p.m.
Whiting High 28-May School, 1751 Oliver St., Whiting 2 p.m.
Merrillville High 1-Jun Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 & U.S. 30 7 p.m.
Hobart High 1-Jun School, 2211 W. 10th Street 6 p.m.
Chesterton High 2-Jun School, 2125 S. 11th St., Chesterton 7 p.m.
Bishop Noll 2-Jun School, 1519 Hoffman St., Hammond 10a.m. Mass at Holy Angels and 6 p.m. graduation
LaCrosse High School 2-Jun School, 11 North Michigan St., LaCrosse 7 p.m.
Calumet New Tech High 3-Jun School, 3900 Calhoun St., Gary 6 p.m.
Westville High 3-Jun School, 207 E. Valparaiso St., Westville noon
Lake Central 4-Jun School, 8260 Wicker Ave., St. John 2 p.m.
Griffith High School 4-Jun School, 600 N. Wigg St., Griffith 2 p.m.
Highland High 4-Jun School, 9135 Erie St., Griffith 1:30 p.m.
Munster High 4-Jun School, 8808 Columbia Ave., Munster 1 p.m.
Boone Grove High 4-Jun School, 260 S 500 W, Valparaiso 2 p.m.
Wheeler High 4-Jun School, 587 W 300 N, Valparaiso 2 p.m.
Portage High 4-Jun School, 6450 US Highway 6, Portage 6 p.m.
Bowman 4-Jun School, 3401 W. 5th Ave., Gary 3 p.m.
Michigan City Area High School 4-Jun School, 8466 W. Pahs Road, Michigan City noon
LaPorte High School 4-Jun School, 602 F St., LaPorte 2 p.m.
South Central 4-Jun School, 9808 South 600 West, Union Mills 1 p.m.
New Prairie 4-Jun School, 5333 N Cougar Road, New Carlisle 2 p.m.
Hanover Central 5-Jun School, 10120 W. 133rd St., Cedar Lake 2 p.m.
Crown Point High 6-Jun Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 & U.S. 30 7 p.m.
Hebron High 6-Jun School, 509 S. Main St., Hebron 7p.m.
Hammond Clark 7-Jun School, 1921 Davis Ave., Hammond 7 p.m.
Hammond Gavit 7-Jun School, 1670 175th St., Hammond 7 p.m.
Hammond High 7-Jun School, 5926 Calumet Ave., Hammond 7 p.m.
Hammond Morton 7-Jun School, 6915 Grand Ave., Hammond 7 p.m.
Wirt-Emerson 9-Jun School, 210 N. Grand Blvd., Gary 1 p.m.
West Side 9-Jun School, 9th and Gerry St., Gary 4 p.m.
Gary New Tech 9-Jun West Side, 9th and Gerry St., Gary 10 a.m.
Kouts High 9-Jun School, 302 E. College St., Kouts 6:30 p.-bac, 7 p.m.-grad
River Forest 10-Jun School, 3300 Indiana St., Hobart 11 a.m.
Morgan Twp High 10-Jun School, 299 S SR49, Valparaiso 2 p.m.
Washington High 10-Jun School, 381 E SR2, Valparaiso 11 a.m.
East Chicago Central 11-Jun School, 100 W. Columbus Drive, East Chicago 2 p.m.
Edison Sr. High 11-Jun School, 3304 Parkside Ave., Lake Station 2 p.m.
Lowell High 13-Jun Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 & U.S. 30 7 p.m.
Valparaiso High 9-Jun School, 2727 N. Campbell St., Valparaiso 7 p.m.
Edison Learning Roosevelt 9-June School, 730 W. 25th Ave., Gary 6 p.m.
Lighthouse College Prep 11-June West Side, 9th and Gerry St., Gary 2 p.m.
Andrean 2-June School, 5959 Broadway, Merrillville Mass at 6:30 p.m. June 1 at Our Lady of Consolation Church, 8303 Taft St., Merrillville; 6:30 p.m. June 2 for graduation at the school
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Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.

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