BDU Honored to Host the Commissioner and Secretary of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education

BDU was honored to host the Commissioner and Secretary of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education this week. Dr. Jenner referred to her visit in her newsletter:

While the legislative session is active and involves long hours at the Statehouse, what really fills my bucket is being in our Indiana classrooms. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to visit two schools alongside my colleague Chris Lowery, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education (CHE). Together, we talked to educators and students at a couple of Early College High School programs at Center Grove High School and Ben Davis University High School.

The Early College High School model, recognized by CHE and sponsored by the University of Indianapolis’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL), is a systematic approach allowing students to earn both their high school diploma, plus either an associate degree or up to two years of college credit towards a bachelor’s degree. Currently, 44 Indiana high schools partner in this effort. While this is one important way to open future doors of opportunity for students, many other schools are actively increasing access to college credit (through dual credit and AP classes) and ultimately, providing an affordable pathway for students to earn a credential before high school graduation. When talking to the students on Tuesday about why they chose to participate in the Early College model, the most common response we heard is, “I want to get an early start on college”…then a number of reasons followed. Sometimes it was for financial reasons, other times it was for career aspirations. Ultimately, this contributes to increased educational attainment…which we know matters for our students and our state, with research showing a direct link between a student’s educational attainment and their quality of life, civic engagement, health, employment, and future earning potential.

By hearing straight from the students and educators who are making this happen, it further emphasizes the value of opportunities like the Early College model. Check out the short video below to learn more about the impactful work happening at Center Grove and Ben Davis University high schools. Watch the video here.