SHS to join Rural Early College Network


HUNTINGBURG — Southridge High School was one of five high schools in Indiana named in the final cohort of schools in the Rural Early College Network administered by the University of Indianapolis Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning, according to a press release.

The Rural Early College Network helps students earn college credit while they complete their high school education. Southridge High School will receive $120,000 over three years as it works with CELL and a mentor high school.

"We are excited about the opportunity this presents for all of our students to be on a path to successfully completing a post-secondary program and we look forward to the professional networking that our partnership with CELL brings," Southridge High School Principal Chad Sickbert said in a press release.

Recipient schools may use the funds for teacher credentialing for dual-credit instruction, professional development, travel to Rural Earl College Network meetings and conferences, and other items that each school specifically needs to support the students and staff. Schools also receive professional development on work-based learning and career-readiness activities for students.

CELL established the Rural Early College Network through a $7.9 million grant from the federal Education Innovation and Research program administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Rural Early College Network helps rural Indiana schools more quickly implement the Early College high school model.

Early College targets underserved students and allows them to earn both high school diplomas and up to two years of credits toward bachelor’s or associate degrees through dual-credit classes.

“We are excited to welcome these high schools to the Rural Early College Network (RECN) project,” said CELL Executive Director Carey Dahncke. “Funding and support provided to these schools will help to develop Early College programming for underserved students, allowing them to earn a high school diploma with up to two years of college credits. Our team is excited to work with the educators at these five schools to support innovative opportunities for Hoosier students.”

A total of 20 schools will be participating in the Rural Early College Network, with these five schools being the final group to join the project: Frontier Junior Senior High School, Seeger Memorial Junior Senior High School, Shoals Community High School, Sheridan High School and Southridge.

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