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Trine collaborating with The Howe School
University plans to offer new opportunities for Howe students
Two schools are using their combined 250 years of educational experience to revolutionize high school and introduce students to college at a younger age, with hopes of creating leaders in the nation’s workforce.
Trine University — a private, four-year institution in Angola — and The Howe School — a coeducational boarding school for students in fifth through 12th grades in Howe — plan to offer dual-credit and post-secondary classes on the Howe campus beginning in 2011.
“We want our students to leave Howe prepared with 21st century skills they can use in college and their careers,” said The Howe School board member and 1964 graduate Keni Washington, who is the managing director for Earth-SOLAR Technologies Corp. in Indianapolis. “We want Howe students to be thinkers and creators.”
In response to growing national concern, Howe wants to expand its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses. The school hopes to produce graduates that can enter college with the ability to excel in science- and math-based classes. Data from the College Testing Service indicates that only 15 percent of students graduate high school prepared to enter an engineering program.
“We lack students wanting to go on from high school to college to become scientists, engineers and mathematicians and also to be teachers of math, science, engineering and technology,” said state Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn.
Kruse is a member of Trine University’s board of trustees and is the chair of the state Senate education and career development committee. He has been active in state government since 1989.
“The collaboration between Howe and Trine is a new and good idea. … I think you’ll see other schools start to do the same thing in time,” Kruse said.
As a result of the collaboration, officials believe issues most high schools and colleges now face — including exposure to virtual-learning opportunities, retention, program completion and career preparedness — will improve.
“Number one, I believe this endeavor will increase college graduation rates,” Kruse said. “Trine is showing high school students they can do college work. There is a certain percentage of students who don’t go to college because they don’t think they can do it. Once they learn they can do the work, there’s a better chance they’ll stay in school.”
A 2003 University of Missouri study found that students who entered college with advanced placement or dual credit experience returned for their second year at a higher rate than students who entered with no college credit.
“We believe this program will help lower the barrier between high school and college,” said David Wood, dean of the Trine University School of Professional Studies. “We want to see students continue to excel, complete programs, earn degrees and become an asset to the workforce.”
In addition to serving students, Trine also plans to implement workforce development programming, offer professional development and certification programs for Howe faculty and offer degree-programs to community members on the Howe campus.
Howe chief operating officer James S. Rosebush said his school chose Trine as a partner because of the reputation of its engineering program, its overall 94 percent job-placement rate and its career-mindedness.
“We want our students to become independent, teachable leaders within their communities and be successful in their careers, and we want our faculty to be forging new paths in education,” Rosebush said. “This partnership with Trine is hopefully a sign of things to come for more schools in the 21st century.”