IU’s doors are OPEN for high school students

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Melissa Thomas, Staff Writer

Indiana University offers a plethora of opportunities for Bloomington high school students: study abroad experiences, summer internships, and even college-level classes. Through the IU OPEN program, Bloomington South students can be enrolled into a complete college course and earn dual credit for their work. 

According to Pat Cannon, counseling director at South, about five students every year choose to take one or more classes at IU, most popularly a math or language course. When this occurs, the student must first apply for the IU OPEN program, then find a class that fits around their South schedule.

“We’re super flexible here [at South],” Cannon said, “but we have certain things we have to be firm on.” 

Evidently, the IU class schedule does not follow the traditional 8 a.m.-3 p.m. school day. Classes in college can be as late as 9 p.m. and may even last for more than two hours, just as an example. It can be difficult when the time comes for a South student undertaking an IU class to find the perfect course during the school day. “[The IU class] has to fit into the confines of the South schedule,” said Cannon.

“Even if you’re missing 5 minutes of [a South] class, we have to put in an arranged period,” Cannon said. 

“Ultimately, it’s about instructional time,” Abby Wolfe, a counselor at South, said. “We can’t re-prioritize IU classes over South classes. We need to protect the time for the students and the teachers.” 

“You have to make [the IU class] fit all year, all tris,” Cannon said. “I know that is not easy. Obviously, the times don’t match up at all…there’s always online options too.”

If a student wishing to take classes at IU cannot find a scheduled class that will fit within the schedule policy, Cannon recommends searching for the class online. IU offers hundreds of online courses each semester, which are still feasible through the OPEN program. 

Sophomore Daniel Larsen, who is currently taking university math, agrees that taking classes at IU as a South student can be difficult because IU runs on a semester schedule, whereas South is on trimesters. 

“Generally, South makes it pretty easy for me as long as I figure out how to fit [the class] in,” Larsen said. 

Taking IU classes is an opportunity available to any South student eligible for the IU OPEN program, but many are not aware of its possibilities. As long as the class fits within the South schedule, the chance is there.