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Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning announces final cohort of Rural Early College Network schools

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Five Indiana high schools will join the Rural Early College Network (RECN) to help students earn college credit while they complete their high school education. Each school will receive $120,000 over three years as they work with the University of Indianapolis Center for Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) and a mentor high school. 

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. RECN 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 rigorous dual credit classes supported by wrap-around services.

A total of 20 schools will be participating in RECN, with these five schools being the final group to join the project:

Frontier Jr-Sr High School
Seeger Memorial Jr-Sr High School
Shoals Community High School
Southridge High School
Sheridan High School

“We are excited to welcome these high schools to the Rural Early College Network (RECN) project. 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,” said Carey Dahncke, CELL executive director.

Recipient schools may use the funds for teacher credentialing for dual credit instruction, professional development, travel to RECN 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.  

About CELL
Created in 2001, the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis has served as the leading convener, catalyst and collaborator for innovative education change. CELL’s mission is for all people in Indiana to experience meaningful and high-quality education. CELL partners with schools and communities to improve outcomes for students of all ages by leading sustainable educational innovation and transformation across Indiana. Providing leadership that is both cutting-edge and action-oriented, CELL unites districts, schools, communities, universities and businesses to build a sense of urgency and form innovative collaborations for statewide educational and economic improvement. Learn more:

About the University of Indianapolis
The University of Indianapolis, founded in 1902, is a private university located just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis. The University is ranked among the top National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of nearly 5,600 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. The University offers a wide variety of study areas, including 100+ undergraduate degrees, more than 40 master’s degree programs and five doctoral programs. More occupational therapists, physical therapists and clinical psychologists graduate from the University each year than any other state institution. With strong programs in engineering, business, and education, the University of Indianapolis impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.” Learn more: