Batesville High School, Ivy Tech Community College’s Batesville campus and the Batesville community recently took the first steps in the unique journey to combine high school and postsecondary curriculums through a coordinated partnership, notes BHS principal Andy Allen.
BHS students began taking dual enrollment courses at the recently remodeled Ivy Tech campus in Spanish, sociology, physics, technical graphics and CAD (computer-assisted design) fundamentals.
He points out, “Although the taking of dual enrollment courses by students is not uncommon, for the first time, through community-partnered agreements, these courses, along with BHS dual credit courses, are offered tuition free. The result is substantial tuition savings for parents and students that are already in excess of $100,000 for just first semester!”
Three main components define Batesville High School’s approach to college and career readiness. First, four BHS juniors have enrolled in a three-part curriculum combining dual enrollment courses on the Ivy Tech campus, dual credit courses on the BHS campus and eight-week intensive mentorship opportunities with four local businesses.
Batesville Tool & Die, Batesville Casket Co., Virtus Inc. and Heartwood Manufacturing have developed mentorship opportunities for students interested in engineering and manufacturing career fields. The field experiences are designed to give students hands-on opportunities under the direct supervision of specialized professionals. Each field-based experience is designed to provide an extension of the coursework covered in dual enrollment technical graphics and CAD fundamentals courses. Over the course of a two-year curriculum, the four students will have the opportunity to receive 30 dual college credits directly applicable to an Ivy Tech Associate of Applied Science degree.
Second, students are able to take Ivy Tech courses on its Batesville campus during the normal school day tuition free. Seventy-two sociology students, 18 Spanish students, nine physics students and eight chemistry students have helped expand curriculum offerings to include courses directly transferable to many Indiana public institutions. The expanded curriculum allows for BHS students to work with adjunct professors on college level degree specific coursework.
Curriculum offerings will continue to expand to meet the academic needs of local students based upon transferability and specific course study.
Finally, dual credit course options taught by BHS-certified teachers have expanded into several new fields – political science, psychology, calculus, finite mathematics and college algebra. These courses are in addition to previously offered courses in English, speech and trigonometry. Students meeting specific prerequisites based upon Accuplacer, PSAT, SAT or ACT testing results qualify to receive high school credit along with Ivy Tech college credit. Course offerings are based on relevancy, rigor and direct transferability to Indiana colleges. Similar to dual enrollment courses, all dual credit courses are tuition free to Batesville High School students.
In the 2013-14 school year, 712 individual opportunities exist for students to earn dual credit through the courses listed above.
According to Allen, “The unique partnership between Batesville High School, Ivy Tech-Batesville and the Batesville community will continue to evolve to meet the needs of individual students and the professional needs of our local businesses. Plans are currently being developed for industry specific field experiences, course offerings tailored to meet degree attainment with a four-year time frame and career pathways directly related to local career opportunities.