Aug. 20 was “an exciting day in Batesville High School history,” points out principal Andy Allen. For the first time, 85 students began taking 122 dual enrollment classes at Ivy Tech Community College’s Batesville campus, he told Batesville Community School Corp. trustees the night before.
About 20 teens arrived at the large building around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to take a sociology class and some stayed on to study Spanish. That afternoon 30 more students wandered the Batesville campus looking for room numbers, according to Allen. Most came by private vehicles, but school buses are used if needed.
Likewise, nine showed up at Ivy Tech Wednesday morning and 20 that afternoon. Students who opted to take dual enrollment classes go either Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday for the twice-a-week classes.
“We made a very substantial investment in this property,” $1 million, pointed out superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts. “We’re starting to reap the benefits.”
As excited as the students must have been, parents had to be equally ecstatic. Their children are taking college courses – with zero tuition costs. This means just this semester parents collectively saved $109,800, 10 percent of that investment. Roberts did the math: 122 classes x 3 credit hours x $300 per credit hour = $109,800 (if those credit hours were taken at Indiana University-Bloomington).
Roberts added the above numbers do not include “the hundreds of students” taking dual credit (high school and college) classes at BHS. Allen calculated, “There are 1,034 opportunities (including Project Lead the Way and Purdue University animal sciences courses) for dual credit to be earned” by BHS students this year.
The trend is catching on. 2013 BHS graduates reported over 1,000 college-level classes on transcripts, he said.
BCSC President Chris Lowery asked the principal about a fresh internship program. Two components of the on-the-job training program make it unique, Allen explained. Four students are taking dual credit classes at the high school, plus dual enrollment courses at Ivy Tech, working toward associate degrees in engineering. “This is a two-year commitment,” he emphasized. Students will end up with 30 credit hours, six short of an associate degree. To complete the hours, the teens could take summer or night classes.