Area 30 partners with Vincennes University

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Area 30 Career Center has entered a partnership with Vincennes University to provide students a "university in a career center high school" starting next year.

"Our initial goal is to get students college-ready and to provide them with a year of college credits," Interim Director Chad Nunley said. "We're looking to add to our current options."

Under the new program, participating students will have the opportunity to earn a full year of credits while still in high school. They must accumulate 15 dual credits in their program and another 15 at their home school.

It is hoped that, with one year of college under their belts, students will be encouraged to complete an associate's or bachelor's degree at Vincennes University.

"It's a win-win for the high schools, the students and for us," Director of Student Services Sharon Bone said.

The program is set to launch next year for students in the auto collision, graphic design and WIRED (advanced manufacturing) programs.

This is the first early-college credit program of its kind offered through Area 30, but dual credit earnings have been increasing among graduates. Last year's graduating class of 473 received 156 credits, working out to about three per student. This year, 1,280 credits are set to be awarded to a graduating class of 147 students, which is about eight credits per student.

In other developments:

-- The board approved Director Lora Busch's medical leave for up to three months. During her recovery from surgery, Vice Director Chad Nunley will serve as interim director.

-- The board approved adding the following classes to the 2016-17 program inventory: Introduction to Communication and Introduction to Manufacturing at Greencastle High School and Business Law and Ethics at Cloverdale High School.

-- Interim Director Nunley said that current 2016-17 enrollment currently sits at 373 students, just 27 students from the goal of 400.

-- The Ascena Retail Group has approved extending Area 30's lease for another year at no additional cost.

"Ascena Retail Group is pleased that we have been able to work with Area 30 to hold their current lease costs steady at a substantial sub-market rate and include all utilities, grounds care and capital improvements," Teena Bryant, Director of Human Resources for Ascena's Greencastle E-Commerce Fulfillment Center, said. "Additionally, we are excited to offset some of the cost by partnering with Area 30 in ... developing the details of multiple programs that will benefit both Ascena associates and Area 30 students."

In other business:

-- The board approved Interim Director Nunley and Student Services Director Bone's attendance of the IACTED summer conference in Brown County June 13 to 15.

-- The 2016-17 draft budget showed an additional $30,000 from last year, mostly due to increased health insurance costs. The budget is set to be finalized at the board's June meeting.

-- The board approved the resignation of Mary Anne Birt as Food Service Director. Her letter of resignation is available in the Area 30 front office.

-- The board approved the hire of Samantha Cowley for cafeteria manager. Cowley has been a part-time employee in the cafeteria.

-- The board approved the April 2016 Financial Report, with total April claims coming in at $283,114. Three additional payrolls accounted for the $90,505 increase from last month, Interim Director Nunley said.

The next Area 30 Board of Trustees meeting will be June 16 at 9 a.m. at the Area 30 Career Center.

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