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Officials from CELL — the Center for Excellence in Leadership of Learning — have given the final stamp of approval for Bellmont High School's transformation into one of the few Early College High School's in the state of Indiana.
Bellmont Principal Scot Croner received notification earlier this week of the approval.
"I am pleased to inform you that CELL is endorsing Bellmont High School as an Early College High School," Dr. Janet Boyle, assistant director of CELL, wrote in a letter to Croner. "Congratulations. The hard work and dedication of you and your staff has come to fruition in Bellmont High School’s recognition as an Early College High School endorsed school. Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to working with you more in the future."
Earlier this month, North Adams Community Schools executed memoradums of understanding with Ivy Tech and IPFW as one of the final steps in the Early College approval process.
Under the Early College concept, students have the opportunity to graduate from high school with either an associate's degree or two years of college credit toward a bachelor's degree already under their belts.
Schools that receive the designation are authorized to provide course work which allows students to simultaneously earn their high school diploma and college credits equivalent to an associate's degree. The credits are transferable to nearly every college and university in Indiana.
"You and your team have much to be proud of in this first year of implementation of Bellmont High School’s ECHS program," Boyle said in her letter to Croner. "You are fortunate to have such strong university partners in IPFW and Ivy Tech, and those relationships are off to a solid start. Your team has devised crucial supports to help your EC students learn how to function successfully in the program, and more supports will evolve as the program grows and cohorts move through the program.
"You have formed an Advisory Board of key stakeholders, so continue to use them for suggestions and strategies for growing the program. The increase in enrollment from 34 to 102 (thus far) students for next year is also evidence of the program’s viability."
With CELL's formal approval, Bellmont became the fourth fully endorsed Early College in the state of Indiana and the only Early College outside of Marion County.