Everything is Possible
District State: Indiana
District Website: https://www.ltschools.org/
A diversifying student body convinced an urban Indianapolis-area district to turn a building that housed vocational programs into a full-service college and career readiness center.
In 2010, the percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch climbed above 50 percent in the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, while the percentage of students of color grew to 60 percent.
The McKenzie Center—once known as a place for those not planning to go on to higher education—was transformed that year to offer all of the district’s high school students dual-credit courses and professional certifications in high-skill, high-demand careers.
The center requires no prerequisites for the beginner-level courses and draws a diverse group of students—representing nearly half the high school population.
The district has partnered with more than 100 companies (including Rolls Royce, Dow AgroScience and Roche Diagnostics) to support programs in health science, information technology, engineering and business, among other subjects.
The center boasts a 90 percent graduation rate, and its students have earned more than 1,500 hours of college credit and more than 140 certifications. Enrollment is expected to grow by another 400 students next year.