GOSHEN — Students at Goshen High School are spreading their wings early with Redhawk University. Over 700 students completed applications this week to join the district’s new early college program, with more to come.
With over 2,000 students, that means about a third of students are testing the waters.
“I’m not surprised,” Goshen High School Principal Kathy DeMeyer said.
All freshmen will be signed up for an introductory college class, Career Exploration, to provide support and encourage them to join the program or consider if college is right for them. “We’ve had talented students for years and students that have been pursuing their own avenues for finding dual credit so we knew we could take advantage of a better partnership.”
Last year around 80,000 students statewide participated in dual credit classes. Ivy Tech Director of K-14 Initiatives Brian Warrell said it’s roughly $89 million in free Ivy Tech college credit, through the Indiana Department of Education. This year Goshen High School students will earn nearly $1.3 million in college credit.
“One of our goals is that when students leave here, they will earn the Indiana College Core (ICC), which is basically their first 30 college credits,” he said. “So their freshman year is completed when they leave here — and they will eventually have an opportunity where some students could earn their associate’s degree while in high school.” Other area high schoolers have already accomplished that feat.
Classes available in this first year are already vast, including composition, creative writing, literature, communications, pre-calculus, calculus, finite math, U.S. history, government, economy, psychology, biology, business, accounting, manufacturing, early childhood education, French and Spanish.
“We definitely have ample classes for students to be able to earn that ICC,” said GHS Assistant Principal Darin Holsopple. “It’s a wide, wide variety.”
Another draw to the program for students is that Ivy Tech classes transfer to all state colleges.
Early college will function in addition to the manufacturing hub, where about 300 students attend with 200 in construction, and 90 students in welding, among other pathways. Some of the pathways also offer college courses.
Goshen High School teachers must be certified through Ivy Tech to teach dual credit and Early College courses. Holsopple said of the 100 staff teachers, just under 20 have returned to college themselves to pursue the required master’s degree and continuing education credits to be a part of the program.
For more information, visit https://ghs.goshenschools.org/earlycollege.