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Helping shape students' futures

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Six WCC Welding students received an Ivy Tech certificate in structural welding on Saturday.Pictured, from left, are Phil Bedel, WCC Welding Technology instructor, and students Braden VanWinkle, Mason Whitsell, Jerry Eversole, Spencer Meier, Keiler Shockley and Dylan Geise.
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During the Ivy Tech Community Collegegraduation ceremony Saturday at the Tiernan Center, high school students were asked to stand and be recognized for their effortsin earning college credits and an Ivy Tech certificate while also earning a high school diploma.

By LEANA CHOATE - lchoate@newsexaminer.com

RICHMOND — Whitewater Career Center has taken its first steps in becoming recognized as an Early College Career Center.

“WCC is in year onr of seeking endorsement as an Early College Career Center to offer additional college opportunities for students,” Soni Jones, assistant director, said.

An early college career center allows students to earn college credit while still in high school. 

For the first time, WCC will have its first students completing and receiving a college level certificate through Ivy Tech.

Six WCC welding technology students earned the college certificate and were recognized at Ivy Tech’s graduation ceremony Saturday at Richmond High School’s Tiernan Center, along with the college graduates from local Ivy Tech’s campuses.

“The students have always earned college credit in our programs, but these six students were able to complete the last class and to earn the certificate,” Jones said.

Having these students receive the Ivy Tech credential is the first step in the WCC becoming recognized as an Early College Career Center, Jones said. Connersville High School is already an Early College High School.

The endorsement for becoming an early college career center can be up to a 5-year process through the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning but Jones said it won’t take WCC that long.

The students who completed this certificate through Ivy Tech can build on the certificate by taking a few more technology courses and adding some general education academic courses to earn a Technical Certificate, and adding more technical and academic courses to the Technical Certificate leads to an Associate of Applied Science Degree.

Offering this to students at WCC, allowing them to earn college credit and certificates while in high school, shortens the time it would take students to receive a college degree.

“Early College High Schools removed the academic, financial, and psychological barriers that prevent too many students from advancing to and succeeding in college,” CELL’s website read.

Jones said students this year at WCC will earn almost 2,000 credits.

The six welding students who earned the Ivy Tech certificate and participated in Ivy Tech’s graduation ceremony Saturday are, Braden VanWinkle, Mason Whitsell, Jerry Eversole, Spencer Meier, Keiler Shockley and Dylan Geise.