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MCHS named Mentor School

Andy Klotz
MCHS named a Mentor School

Muncie, Ind. – Muncie Central High School’s Early College program is just seven years old, but it has already been declared one of the best in the state by the Urban College Acceleration Network (UCAN), a new initiative of the University of Indianapolis’ Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Not only did CELL recently re-endorse the Bearcats’ Early College program, but it invited Central to serve as a Mentor School to other Hoosier high schools so they can successfully implement a similar program.

“It’s quite an honor to be one of just four schools in the state to be asked to serve as a Mentor School,” Central High School Principal Chris Walker said. “We have a number of dedicated teachers, which is essential, and Mr. Reichard does an incredible job of coordinating the entire program in conjunction with Ivy Tech.”

Early College programs allow students to earn college credits and/or professional credentials while they’re still in high school. Students can graduate with college credits and possibly even a two-year Associate’s degree, which saves families thousands of dollars in tuition. Each year, Central students earn about $350,000 in free college credits.

“Ivy Tech is proud to provide students with this unique opportunity to complete their core courses while simultaneously earning college credits or even a degree,” Central High Early College Coordinator Khalid Reichard said. “If students work hard, they can accomplish great things.”

While open to all students, Early College programs specifically serve students who are statistically underrepresented in higher education – students from low-income families, first-generation college students, English language learners and students of color.

Central’s selection as a Mentor School verifies its program is providing a rigorous curriculum with robust student supports and quantifiable completion data.

“Muncie Central has quality programs helping its students succeed not just in high school, but also accelerate into post-secondary education,” UIndy’s CELL Director of Early College Sandy Hillman said. “Last year alone, there were 17 Central students who earned Associate degrees from Ivy Tech and another 23 students who earned the Indiana College Core.”

The Indiana College Core includes 30 hours of general education courses that fulfill the freshman year requirements at all public universities and colleges in Indiana.

MaKaiya Lowe just graduated with a two-year degree from Ivy Tech in addition to her Central High diploma. She credits Reichard’s presentation during her eighth grade year as motivation to apply to the program.

“Thanks to the Early College program, I’ve got all my general classes out of the way,” Lowe said. “Now I can concentrate on my career classes, which will save me time and money. It also already has me in a college mindset, so it’s been really cool.”

For more information about Central’s Early College program, please visit

About Muncie Community Schools

Serving the local community since 1855, Muncie Community Schools (MCS) educates more than 5,000 students at six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school while also managing several other educational facilities. Through its unique partnership with Ball State University, MCS strives to maximize each student’s potential so he or she can be a positive, productive member of society. Find out more about MCS or Director of Public Education and CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski at

About the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning

Created in 2001, the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis is focused on all children graduating from high school fully prepared for success in postsecondary education and the 21st-century workforce. The Center has generated $57 million in funding to support its work as the leader for innovative education change in Indiana. CELL provides leadership that is both cutting-edge and action-oriented. Via partnerships with international, national, and local education leaders and organizations, CELL unites districts, schools, communities, universities, and businesses to build a sense of urgency and form innovative collaborations for statewide educational and economic improvement.