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Thousands of Indiana High Schoolers Earn College Credit Before Graduation

More than 7,500 Hoosier high school students over the past five years have earned the Indiana College Core or an associate degree while still in high school, continuing Indiana’s strong support of students taking early college credit with the benefit of students saving time and money toward postsecondary education and training. 

Recent data show more than 1,800 students earned the Indiana College Core, and almost 500 students earned an associate degree in 2020 – all while still in high school. Created in 2012, the Indiana College Core is a 30 credit-hour block of general education college-level coursework that transfers to all Indiana public colleges and universities and some private institutions. Indiana students can earn up to a full year of college for $750 or less when they earn the Indiana College Core while in high school.

To continue building awareness around the benefits of the Indiana College Core with high school students, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and Indiana Department of Education released today a comprehensive digital guide and toolkit. The materials are designed to equip educators, especially school counselors, with the information and tools needed to help students make knowledgeable decisions about earning the Indiana College Core.

“The popularity of the Indiana College Core has grown since its creation with thousands of students earning it each school year,” said Indiana Commission for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “Our new educator guide and toolkit will increase awareness of the Core and the benefits of earning it. Working in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, we are making these materials available to high school educators and counselors around the state so more students can take advantage of this opportunity.”

Nearly 94 percent of Indiana College Core earners from the class of 2018 went on to attend college. Once at college, those students can focus on major-specific courses earlier than their peers and pursue additional opportunities such as adding a minor and studying abroad. Additionally, they’re more likely to graduate on time or early and could pursue graduate school ahead of their peers who didn’t earn the Core while in high school.

Indiana College Core LogoWhile more students are earning the Indiana College Core, gaps remain. Far too few Indiana high schools offer the Core – the Commission estimates that it’s currently available at just one in five high schools. The educator guide serves as an informational resource for school administrators to learn how their school can become a provider. It also instructs counselors on how to assist students with earning and transferring the Core.

“It’s important that every student has access to pathways throughout their K-12 education that prepare them for what’s next after high school – whether that’s employment, enrollment or enlistment leading to service,” said Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner. “Completing the Indiana College Core while still in high school can help our students open doors by earning a degree or credential, saving them time and money. Expanding access to the Indiana College Core at all Indiana schools – rural, urban and suburban – can be a game-changer for our students while also strategically setting the foundation for increasing educational attainment in communities across our state.”

The toolkit features plug-and-play resources such as an email template, social media posts, a short informational video and website content to be used to explain the Indiana College Core to students and parents. Counselors also have access to a fillable course offering list, making it clear to students and parents which courses qualify for the Core.

The guide and toolkit are located on LearnMoreIndiana.com, along with a variety of other resources designed specifically for K-12 counselors and educators. For more information about dual credit and credit transfer, visit TransferIN.net.