Work underway in Indiana to plug gap between high school and college

Indianapolis

More than half of graduating Hoosier high schoolers will not go on to college and legislators say many of them get a diploma without all of the tools they need to move on to higher education.

State leaders are working on a new assessment set to be implemented in 2014. The assessment will replace I-STEP and better measure students' college readiness.

"We have put incredible pressures on our community college system in Indiana," said Teresa Lubbers, Commissioner of Higher Education.

Indiana spends $40 million a year on remediation, helping students who graduate high school but still need help to get to a college-ready level of education.

Lawrence Hemphill, a senior at IUPUI, is interning at College Summit. The nonprofit is working in some Indiana schools to give students the resources and time they need to apply to college.

"I thought (college) was for the rich and that was it," Hemphill said.

Hemphill is telling his story across the state. He grew up in Fountain Square while both his parents went in and out of jail. Until he found a mentor who helped him see that college was possible, Hemphill said he never considered that path for himself.

"I want to see other students go through the same thing I went through, the transformation to be able to become great," Hemphill said.

Indianapolis Power and Light made a donation to College Summit Wednesday. The company also pledged to provide mentoring to students at George Washington Community High School, where the graduation rate has gone up by 30 percent in just three years.

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