A growing number of teenagers can begin their transition to college as high school freshmen – and at low cost – thanks to an innovative partnership between Perry Meridian, Vincennes University and the University of Indianapolis.
The 1+3 Program 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.
“Making postsecondary education more affordable and accessible is an ongoing initiative at the University of Indianapolis,” UIndy President Robert Manuel said. “We specifically are committed to elevating the quality of life for our neighbors in this part of the city. This partnership provides tremendous value for local families, and we look forward to replicating the model with other high schools.”
Although all students are eligible to apply, the program specifically targets those who have the potential to succeed in college but may not consider themselves suited for a traditional four-year experience.
The institutions collaborated in designing a targeted catalog of dual-credit courses that students can take for $25 per credit hour if instructed by a credentialed high school teacher, free for students who quality for free or reduced-price lunch. Some courses may be taught by VU instructors for $75 per hour.
“This really continues to put Perry Township Schools on the cutting edge when it comes to partnering with higher ed institutions and offering our students alternate paths to getting their college degrees,” said Perry Township Schools Superintendent Thomas Little “We can help save them and their parents the cost of one or two years of college.”
Part of the initiative’s model is “Xmester,” a two-week summer course and residential experience at UIndy for high school seniors.
UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning is designated as the sole organization in the state that can train, support and endorse Early College high schools in partnership with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
Perry Meridian Principal Rolland Abraham said the program helps to complete the vision that led him and his staff to establish their Early College Program.
“This is a unique three-way partnership to have a four-year institution like the University of Indianapolis partner with us and Vincennes University to help students take a major step forward on their path to a college diploma,” Abraham said. “This program will actually help some students who hadn’t considered going to college to get a college degree. It can really broaden their horizons.”