Taking the courses necessary to obtain a college degree can cost students and their families tens of thousands of dollars. Because of this, some students do not pursue higher education, and those who do are often faced with significant debt once they graduate.

To help ease this financial burden, the Indiana General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled Act 182 in 2012, creating the Statewide Transfer General Education Core. This program benefits high school and college students by allowing those who complete 30 hours of general education credits through one public institution to transfer them to other public colleges and universities.

High school coursework resulting in Advanced Placement or dual credits as well as credit from accredited institutions can be applied to STGEC requirements.

While the specific courses vary by campus and institution, all students must complete their credits in six competency areas. Below are the required competency areas as well as an example of a related course:

• Written communication (English 111);

• Speaking and listening (Communication 101);

• Quantitative reasoning (Math 123);

• Scientific ways of knowing (Astrology 101);

• Humanistic and artistic ways of knowing (Art History 101); and

• Social and behavioral ways of knowing (Economics 101).

Once students satisfactorily complete the STGEC requirements, the college or university they attend will validate and document their completion on their transcript. A minimum 2.0 grade-point average for the 30 credit hours is considered satisfactory.

I encourage high school and college students to participate in this program, as both can benefit financially. For example, there is no charge for students to take dual credit courses while in high school. Therefore, if students complete the required credits during that time, they can transfer them to the public college or university they attend and save an estimated $20,000 in college expenses. Additionally, if a college student chooses to transfer to another public institution, he or she can take their STGEC-approved credits with them, rather than having to complete additional courses once they transfer.

I urge students and their parents to inquire at their high school in regard to participation at their school.

To learn more about the STGEC and participating institutions, visit https://bit.ly/2vuMMBv

If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this topic or others, contact me by email at Senator.Leising@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.