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IDOE introduces a program for selected high school students called a Career Scholarship Account



Indianapolis, Indiana – The Indiana Department of Education has introduced an initiative aimed at assisting high school students in earning while gaining knowledge. The Career Scholarship Account (CSA) program has been established to provide eligible 10th to 12th graders with $5,000 to support learning experiences beyond the traditional classroom setting. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an apprenticeship, applied-learning, or work-based learning program approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Proponents of the CSA program argue that it will help disadvantaged students overcome often overlooked barriers. However, some policy experts and students feel that certain refinements are still necessary. For instance, Loriann Beckner, a freshman at Indiana University-Columbus, shared her experience of interning at a hospital through the Blue River Career Program in Shelbyville. She mentioned having to cover transportation costs, which the CSA program aims to address. Beckner expressed appreciation for the scholarship aspect of the program.

The Chairman of the House Education Committee, State Representative Bob Behning, stated that the program currently has 1,000 available spots, but he envisions potential expansion to accommodate around 30,000 students statewide.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce noted that the CSA program offers students greater flexibility in shaping their career paths. Jason Bearce, representing the Chamber of Commerce, highlighted that certain expenses associated with career preparation are typically not covered by existing funding, such as transportation, safety equipment, tools, and certification exams. Bearce expressed the hope for clearer guidance regarding the types of credentials the CSA program will support and the industries that will benefit the most.

Loriann Beckner expressed concerns about the possibility of students bypassing in-classroom learning experiences provided by career centers like the one that aided her. She worried that a focus on scholarships might reduce valuable in-classroom time. Behning addressed this by noting that funding for career centers had increased in the previous session, and he believes that the current availability of work-based program spots does not meet the growing demand. He sees the CSA program as an additional tool to enhance the capacity of the system.

Behning clarified that he does not anticipate a financial increase in the program during the next session, with any potential increases more likely to occur during the upcoming budget cycle. For the current year’s program, eligible students have until October 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST to apply. Further information and the application portal can be accessed by clicking here.

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