VINCENNES, IND. (WTHi0 - A southern Indiana college is asking the state for more money to expand a growing program that allows high school students to earn college degrees.
Vincennes University is asking the Indiana legislature for $8 million over the next two years for its Early College Program.
That 5-year-old program is already providing low cost two year degrees to hundreds of students around the state.
Students at Vincennes University are hustling around campus to try and wrap up the fall semester.
What you don't see on campus are 750 high school students who are working to get an Associates Degree at their own high schools.
V.U. President Dr. Richard Helton says the Early College Program is providing a low cost and easy option for students.
"It's just a really--I think--convenient way, quality way, to address the whole issue of accessibility and affordability; and you can do it without bricks and mortar," said Dr. Helton.
Currently Vincennes University is working with 5 different school systems throughout the state to provide the early college program, but it's been so successful another half dozen schools are in active talks with V.U. looking to become a part of it.
"We're pretty confident about what we're doing, and I believe we have the only model in the state at this point that does that," said Helton. "So, it's a step in the right direction."
A step also in a reasonable way for the state to reach a goal in 2025 of 60 percent of Hoosier adults holding 2 year degrees.
"I think if we have good, frank discussions on affordability and accessibility. If we don't don't include early college in those discussions, I think we're making a mistake in our state," said Helton.
A mistake V.U. officials are already trying to avoid with the early college program.
V.U. officials say costs run from free to 75 dollars per credit hour depending upon the class, the student's financial situation and the availability of staff to teach the courses.
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