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Wabash High School students travel to IU Kokomo for classes.

High school students attend class on campus; gain college experience

November 17, 2015
KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo prepares high school students for college life by providing the real campus experience.

A unique partnership between IU Kokomo and Wabash City Schools provides an opportunity for high school seniors to attend English and math classes on campus. These top 20 students arrive twice each week to not only earn college credit hours, but also learn time management and interact with faculty.

“The experience they are encountering this year will be invaluable to them after high school graduation,” said Angie Siders, director of admissions. “Being on campus with other college students, adjusting to a college schedule, and learning faculty expectations, while still having support at home and school, is a great combination.

“The program fits with the campus strategic plan of increasing college enrollment and degree attainment in north central Indiana,” Siders added.

Because of Paige Nelson’s positive experience on campus, she’s decided to enroll at IU Kokomo next year.

“I have been able to get in touch with my instructors easily when I have a question,” she said. “I like the small classroom setting and that I will start college with some credits.”

Josh Blossom, director of college and career readiness, said while Wabash City Schools offers many college credit courses, there is more to preparing a student for college than offering rigorous classes. There is also learning to manage time differently, and to ask questions and interact with faculty.

“The kinds of things that a college sophomore would take for granted, we want our students to learn that before graduating from high school,” he said. “Our kids are used to going to every class, every day, for 47 minutes per class. The college schedule isn’t like that. It was important for them to experience what that is going to be like, so when they’re on their own, they can succeed with that kind of plan.”

Tuition costs are paid partly by IU Kokomo scholarships and a grant from the Community Foundation of Wabash County.

Carli Henderson appreciates the inside look at what it is like to be a college student.

“It’s good to have this chance so I know what to expect when I go to college next year,” she said. “It’s a harder challenge than I expected.”

As an early college high school, Wabash administrators wanted to be sure students are prepared for what lies ahead.

Blossom noted that the Class of 2015 included students with more than 50 college credits completed, which saves them money and allows them to complete a four-year degree more quickly, leaving time for graduate school.

“Their families save some money, they have an opportunity to earn advanced degrees, and hopefully have a better career outcome later,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful experience for our kids.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 11/17/2015