By JEROD CLAPP
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence visited Ivy Tech Community College Southern Indiana for a ceremonial signing of two education bills on Wednesday.
The legislation — House Bill 1005 and House Enrolled Act 1312 — were signed earlier this month, but revisited by the governor and author State Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany.
House Bill 1005 sets groundwork to identify high school students who are likely to require remedial courses in English or math when they get to college and tries to head it off by providing that remediation before they graduate from high school. The other piece of legislation expands the state’s work study program from seasonal to year-round, as well as including private sector jobs.
“Hoosiers really won this session,” Pence said.
Clere said HB 1005 should help head off some college dropout rates, as students taking those courses are more likely to leave college without completing their degrees.
“The bottom line here is we know there are far too many students in Indiana who are leaving high school unprepared for college or career,” Clere said. “This bill is designed to address that situation.”
The bill also sets tighter restrictions on giving financial aid to college students in remedial courses and on granting general graduation waivers in high school — which allow students to graduate without passing their state-mandated End of Course Assessments.
“We’re trying to create an environment where a better percentage of students succeed when they get to college,” Clere said.
The other piece of legislation, HEA 1312, would make work-study programs more available to students in a broader spectrum of jobs. Clere said students could work paid internships related to their major.
“It’s really designed to promote meaningful, experiential learning that is to give students an opportunity to work in a field that is relevant to their course study and future career plans,” Clere said.
The bill also provides 50 percent funding of internship and work-study positions if they qualify through the department of higher education.