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IPS offers top university courses at Crispus Attucks High School

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An education justice group is bringing attention to one school in Indianapolis that’s paving the way for students by providing dual-enrollment college courses.

It’s the first of its kind in Indiana.

Destiney Wilson, a student at Crispus Attucks High School, said, “This program is extremely important to me because it’s more than dual credit. It’s college,.”

On Thursday, teachers and students at Crispus Attucks High School celebrated a new partnership between Indianapolis Public Schools and the nonprofit National Education Equity Lab.

Students can take online courses with professors at top universities includes Stanford, Princeton and Arizona State University at no cost.

According to Alexandra Slack, chief operating officer of the National Education Equity Lab, Indianapolis Public Schools is the first Indiana district to join the nonprofit’s effort.

Aleesia Johnson, IPS superintendent, said, “We are making sure we’re establishing those building blocks before they leave us, so they have the confidence to know that they can do it.”

Johnson says the group aims to show students in low-income communities that higher education is possible. “When we look at the data statewide, we see that gap between students of color who are pursuing post secondary educational opportunities and being successful and their white counterpart. So again this is an opportunity. While our students are still in high school to give them that additional confidence that they can be successful.”

This semester, 25 students at the high school enrolled in the program.

It offers a psychology course from the University of Pennsylvania and a Poetry in America course with a professor from Harvard University.

Teachers will also be available at the school for additional help.

Kiara Williams, student at Crispus Attucks High School, said, “Nobody is holding my hand. It’s up to me to transition into an adult, to take my responsibilities to make sure I’m follow through with them because no one is going to tell me when something is due or if I spelled something wrong.”

Some of these students say they are looking forward to new opportunities.

Wilson said, “I feel like getting that experience in those rigorous college courses is extremely important because I’ve definitely been nervous about like how much different the work will be in college, so it’s amazing to be able to get a glimpse to that without getting a glimpse without all the money you have to pay,.”

Students enrolled in this program will start classes next week.