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IU South Bend and WaNee Community Schools sign partnership for Indiana College Core

Community Engagement News Release Oct 30, 2023

IUSB's Jill Pearon and Wa-Nee Community Schools' Scot Croner sign papers at a desk. IU South Bend Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jill Pearon, left, and Wa-Nee Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Scot Croner sign the Memorandum of Understanding paperwork for the district and IU South Bend to participate in the Indiana College Core program. Photo by Michael CaterinaStudents in the WaNee Community Schools are now able to advance their college education while still in high school with the opportunity to earn an IU certificate.

The school district signed a multi-year agreement with Indiana University South Bend to participate in Indiana College Core (ICC). The program allows high school students to earn college credit by taking a block of 30 credit hours of college-level courses.

“Partnering with IUSB to offer the Indiana College Core at NorthWood High School is a leading-edge opportunity that sets us apart from schools in our area. It signifies our commitment to excellence and prepares our students for a successful future,” said Principal Weston Lambert.

“We are excited NorthWood High School is the first school in our area to sign a long-term agreement to participate with IU South Bend and offer this program to its students through the 2025-26 school year,” said IU South Bend Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jill Pearon.

The NorthWood instructors who will be teaching these courses are trained and certified by Indiana University and hold adjunct status with the university. By taking part in this program, the students will receive IU’s ICC certificate and the credits they have earned will transfer to IU South Bend or any Indiana public college or university.

“We know education can open the door to opportunities for students. About 90 percent of students who complete Indiana College Core in high school go on to attend college and have more success while they’re on campus,” Pearon said.

The program allows students to enter college with more opportunities to focus on their major-specific coursework; offers them more flexibility in their schedule because they’ve completed many of the general education courses; and may allow them to add a major, minor or internship during their college career.

“The College Core is helping introduce me to the college workload and how to manage my time and effort in a class with other peers,” said NorthWood Student Margaret Steiner.

“I am hoping to double major in college, and by taking these college courses I will be able to achieve this more easily. Instead of having to take an extra year, I will be able to complete my degrees in four years. I also just enjoy the topics of these classes,” said NorthWood Student Kathleen Cummings.

For families, the program can be a cost savings. The students are earning a full year of general education credits during their time in high school.

“Allowing me to save money and time by completing college level courses in high school is a big advantage. This will help me in my learning both now and later in my future,” said NorthWood Student Jace Davies.

“It allows me to go to a college in Indiana with the general credits I need to be a sophomore. It is also important to me because it allows us to take college courses and pay less than we would have to for our freshman year of college,” said NorthWood Student Elissa Horner.

Lambert said being the first school in the area to offer the ICC through a partnership with IU South Bend empowers students to access college-level courses, earn transferable credits, and explore a wider range of educational opportunities.

“The collaboration between NorthWood High School and IUSB to introduce the Indiana College Core is a game-changer for our students and families. It not only enhances their educational journey but also opens doors to higher education, scholarships, and career prospects. We are proud to offer this life changing experience to our community,” he said.

The new agreement runs through the 2025-26 school year and is renewable.

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