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Indiana Department of Education Launches Innovative Urban Schools Partnership to Expand Access to Early College Programming

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  • Current: Indiana Department of Education Launches Innovative Urban Schools Partnership to Expand Access to Early College Programming

Mentorship Model to Provide Targeted Support for Educators and Students

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Holly Lawson
Deputy Director of Communications
(317) 232-0536

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) today announced the launch of the state’s Urban College Acceleration Network (UCAN), a new partnership between urban Indiana schools with the mission of increasing students’ access to postsecondary courses through the Early College High School Program.

“We know that achievement gaps persist in reading, math, and educational attainment among Indiana’s racially and ethnically diverse, low-income, special education and English language learner students – gaps that were exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “I’m thrilled that through the UCAN partnership, many of our urban schools will come together to leverage their collective knowledge and experience to help close these gaps and expand pathway opportunities for every student to succeed.”

UCAN connects established urban Early College High Schools and urban schools that are seeking to become Early College High Schools. The model establishes the Early College High Schools as mentors for their partner schools, providing the partner schools with guidance and support as they work to accelerate their path toward becoming an Early College High School. Through UCAN, partner schools will have access to coaching and support for Early College coursework, along with educator professional development at no cost.

The Early College High School program, led by the University of Indianapolis' Center of Excellence in Leadership and Learning (CELL), helps schools build a model that empowers students to earn postsecondary credits alongside their high school diploma through dual credit opportunities. CELL is providing professional development and operational support to UCAN schools.

UCAN Mentor Schools:

  • Ben Davis University High School, Marion County
  • Hobart High School, Lake County
  • Muncie Central High School, Delaware County
  • Penn High School, St. Joseph County

UCAN Partner Schools:

  • Anderson High School, Madison County
  • Arsenal Tech High School, Marion County
  • Concord High School, Elkhart County
  • Crispus Attucks High School, Marion County
  • Goshen High School, Elkhart County
  • Hammond Central High School, Lake County
  • Herron High School and Riverside High School, Marion County
  • Irvington Preparatory Academy, Marion County
  • Morton High School, Lake County
  • Terre Haute North Vigo High School, Vigo County
  • Terre Haute South Vigo High School, Vigo County
  • West Side Leadership Academy, Lake County

UCAN follows and expands on the model of the similar successful rural school initiative, the Rural Early College Network (RECN), which is now in its third year of operation. Following this model, four geographically diverse urban Early College High Schools were selected to serve as UCAN mentor schools, and additional urban schools from across the state were given the opportunity to apply to serve as partner schools.

This program will be supported with $4.1 million in funding through the third round of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.