Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
There are many extremely successful programs entrenched in the schools of Perry Township. On Jan. 27 Perry Meridian High attained a level of programming for its students that no other school has reached. The school set a benchmark for future growth that will continue to raise the bar on student achievement levels throughout the state.
The program represents the first time that a public university, a private university and a public high school have united as formal partners to provide courses for students that not only meet credit standards for a high school diploma but also gives students college credit.
University of Indianapolis President Robert Manuel and Vincennes University Chuck Johnson, both innovative leaders, joined forces with Perry Township Schools to set the stage for students to make their dreams a reality through the 1+3 Early College program.
UIndy and VU are flourishing under their form of “can-do, no-excuse” leadership that breaks down traditional barriers and searches relentlessly for answers to challenges. We expressed a need, and they met the challenge. A growing number of Perry Meridian teens can begin their transition to college during their freshman year of high school at a low cost due to the generosity of these two universities.
The initiative enables qualifying students on Perry Meridian’s Early College track to graduate with a 30-credit general studies certificate from Vincennes. Students who complete the program and meet admissions standards will be accepted directly into UIndy with at least one year of general education credits already in hand, providing the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree with only three years of further study.
Though all are eligible to apply, the program specifically targets those who have the potential to succeed in college – as indicated by reading scores and other skills – but may not consider themselves suited for a traditional four-year experience.
Perry Meridian, which launched the program with last year’s freshmen, is building toward a goal of 125 students at each of the four grades. Our ultimate goal is to prepare a group of students to attain enough college credits to be awarded an associate degree from the university presidents. The course requirements for high schoolers meet the standards of both universities, and the courses will be reviewed annually and updated to ensure relevance. The universities will examine data on student performance to measure the effectiveness of the program.
The bottom line is that we truly believe this program will open the university doors to students who will be challenged, focused and prepared to take on the rigors of a university educational experience.
It is an honor to serve the Perry Township community and be a part of helping students realize their hopes, dreams and aspirations.