MCHS, Ivy Tech Partnership Gives High School Students a Jump on College


Bergen Cornelius, Staff Writer

The 2017-2018 school year marks the third consecutive year where Madison Consolidated High School students have had the opportunity to attend Ivy Tech every morning for dual credit classes. This  helps students when it comes to cost for their college experience. These students have the opportunity to receive college credit and if they maintain a C or better, then the class is no cost to them. Not only will many high school students graduate high school with the credentials of a sophomore in college, but  they will also not have to pay for the classes they took at Ivy Tech during their high school career if grades are kept up. On average this saves students about $30,000, which always helps later down the road when it’s time to pay for bills outside of college tuition.

“It saves my parents money to invest in my future instead of school now,” said MCHS junior Alec Rathje.

Public colleges in the state of Indiana only have to take the Ivy Tech credits if the student completes the Transfer General Education Core (TGEC), which states that it is mandatory for each student to have 32 college credits to obtain this certificate.

Not only are Madison Consolidated High School students receiving dual credit classes at Ivy tech but also back at the high school. In the past two years that this program has been in effect at Madison, 100 students have graduated with the TGEC. Many students take the opportunity to double major in college, since they now have more time by taking care of time consuming and costly prerequisites and other necessary classes.  

Dustin Stewart Director Of K-14 Initiatives at Ivy Tech and Madison Consolidated High School said,  “I have been able to work closely with students, teachers, counselors and the administrative team at MCHS. Together we have successfully implemented a program that provides the opportunity for students to ‘test drive’ the college experience. Through this program, students can earn the Statewide TGEC. This 30 college credit hour package allows students to essentially complete the equivalent to the first year of college. State law mandates that if students complete the requirements for the TGEC, all public institutions in Indiana must accept the credits. With the average cost of attendance at public institution at $20,000 – families can think of the completion of this credential as $20,000 saved. To date, 101 MCHS students have earned the TGEC.”

Dustin Stewart Director Of K-14 Initiatives at Ivy Tech and Madison Consolidated High School

Another benefit to students is the extra freedom the program affords. High school students are being treated like college students and now have the full force of responsibility of college life by participating in this program. For instance, students are enjoying the fact that some classes do not meet everyday during the week; therefore, they have an off period a couple times during the week. This gives students the chance for studying and preparing for that very class and other classes on their schedule. Not only is this time made for studying but also preparing. Ivy Tech suggests spending one to two hours outside of class for every hour in class. Along with all of these advantages, students are also allowed to drive their own personal vehicles from Ivy Tech and back to the high school, which is a huge responsibility.

College life is starting to look more realistic with all these preparations and outlooks that Ivy tech Community College is giving MCHS students. With some classes not meeting everyday, to work loads increasing, and professors holding students more accountable to get their own work finished, time management is a skill that most student do come to find in this program very early.

“I think the dual credit program over at Ivy Tech is very beneficial for MCHS juniors and seniors, especially if they plan on going to a four year, public school in Indiana. Not only could it save students and their families money, it can also give students a chance to see what college will be like once they graduate,” MCHS junior Tatum Lynch.

Every year this program grows and helps more students graduate high school with their TGEC. In the next two years, MCHS and Ivy Tech are hoping for their biggest class to graduate with their freshman year of college already completed. The opportunities of this collaboration between Ivy Tech and MCHS is seemingly limitless, thanks to all the people who have put in countless hours in building this program.

MCHS dual credit teacher and technology coach and Ivy Tech adjunct professor Bryan Dewitt said, “I work closely with Ivy Tech in my role at MCHS because Anatomy and Physiology is a dual credit class…. Ivy Tech is very gracious with their equipment and allow us to borrow whatever we need. This partnership has been fantastic for high school students. Students who graduate with the TGEC can enter college as sophomores, which allows them to pick up minors or take some exploratory coursework that students without dual credits would not be able to do. The Ivy Tech partnership certainly saves Madison students several thousand dollars and provides a high quality high school education.”