Indiana And Great Lakes
Our Indiana and the Great Lakes Hub is anchored by the Center for Excellence in Leadership of Learning at the University of Indianapolis.
Dr. Jeremy Eltz serves as the Director of Rural Education at the University of Indianapolis' CELL (Center for Excellence in Leadership of Learning). An established source of educational innovation and professional development in Indiana, CELL also commits itself to addressing the unique needs of rural areas through their Rural Early College Network and the Indiana Collaborative for Rural Education.
Originally founded through a generous donation from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. in 2001, CELL quickly grew and has sustained efforts to improve STEM curricula, create school-to-community career pathways, and host professional development seminars for schools and educators across Indiana.
Dr. Jeremy Eltz attributes the Center’s continued longevity to its ability to “forecast down the road” and to “convene people while also being good thought partners.” A determination to support the state’s numerous rural districts has also been central to the program’s efforts. Eltz explains how CELL’s previous director “realized rural schools have needs we aren’t addressing and started looking at different rural organizations to see what more we could do.” CELL’s foresight has awarded it a new federal grant “to implement rural early college programs around the state and to build a collaborative network for rural educators around Indiana.”
Through this project, named the Rural Early College Network (RECN), CELL is expanding early college programs at schools to help students reach post-secondary institutions and complete degrees. More than sponsoring dual credit classes, Eltz explains that RECN encompasses “a whole ecosystem” of partners and actions focused on a diverse array of rural students:
“Concurrent enrollment is just one piece. To be a part of the early college program, you have to have leadership teams in place made up of school administrators, counselors, and teachers; student advising; and college field trips as well as parent advisory groups, the involvement of local partners, and a clear connection between college and the workforce.”
That connection to the community, for Eltz, is critical. The success of these efforts arises “through the partnerships that would be formed, the community networking and buy-in from parents and local employers. That’s the approach we take; we try to get as large a stakeholder group as we can into the model to sustain the effort. That’s been the approach CELL has always taken.”
Honoring Good Work
CELLebrating Collaboration and Progress
Looking Back on 20 Years of Educational Transformation
Current and past staff at CELL reflect on the history and impact of the organization for its 20th anniversary.
More news & stories from our Indiana and Great Lakes Hub:
- Haley Lancaster from Vincennes, Indiana is named the 2021-22 National Signature Project Award recipient (May 2021)
- Friday's Sustainability Policy Brief (February 2021)
- We Are Proud to Announce RSC's Indiana & Great Lakes Hub (February 2021)
- Vincennes, Indiana teacher featured in the I Am a Rural Teacher annual report (December 2020)
- Onaway, Michigan teacher opines on the need for rural mental health professionals (January 2020)