Eagles Theatre renovation to boost HCC interactive media program; Honeywell Foundation project creates expanded learning opportunities

WABASH, Ind. – One of the benchmarks of the Vincennes University Early College and Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs is the opportunity to forge innovative partnerships with industry, the arts and the community in general to provide students with effective, hands-on learning scenarios.

In Wabash, Indiana, Heartland Career Center has seen the genesis of just such a partnership begin to bloom, and the initiative is intended to be part of an overall regional economic development effort in northeastern Indiana.

  • Heartland Early College Career Center is a partnership between Heartland Career Center and VU, providing rigorous and innovative educational programming designed for students who excel in a small and supportive academic environment. HECCC offers students a chance to earn a Core 40 Diploma while earning college credits toward an VU associate’s degree and industry recognized certifications. The Wabash-based Honeywell Foundation is partnering with Heartland Career Center to provide a multimedia arts program in Eagles Theatre. Heartland Career Center pulls students from Wabash, Northfield, Southwood, Manchester, Peru, North Miami, Huntington North, Oak Hill and Eastbrook High Schools, making its media arts program available to all juniors and seniors at those schools.

At the Eagles Theatre, state-of-the-art recording and film studios, along with a group editing space, will be created on the second floor to expand Heartland Career Center’s interactive media program. High school students will have the opportunity to receive certification or dual high school/college credit in the multimedia arts. A pilot program will be launched at the beginning of the school year.

“The project allows Heartland Career Center and Vincennes University to expand its early college program offerings for the students,” said Jennifer Hughes, assistant dean of Early College. “It also allows us to strengthen our partnerships with like-minded organizations that reflect the work of helping students be successful.”

Teresa Galley, the Honeywell Foundation’s director of education and outreach, recently led a group of Heartland Career Center, VU and Early College officials and staff members on a tour of the historic and character-filled building to describe and display the theatre’s clean-up and early preparation for future uses. The 111-year-old Eagles Theatre building has four floors and a basement.

Third floor classrooms will be designed for multiple uses. A planned lower level theater will become a venue to showcase films and video projects via public viewings, private screenings and event rentals.

​According to the Eagles Theatre website, the project will bolster efforts to attract and retain talent to live and work in northeast Indiana. To support the renovation project, The Honeywell Foundation launched the Eagles Renovation Project Campaign.

“We are thrilled at the possibilities this new partnership with Heartland Career Center provides,” Galley said. “Students will be learning important 21st Century skills while housed in a building more than 100 years old!”

The History of Eagles Theatre

Eagles Theatre functions as a movie theater. However, it was once a fully functioning vaudeville theatre, complete with two balconies and seating to accommodate up to 1,200 patrons. It later transitioned with the advent of motion pictures, providing entertainment and world news through the use of newsreels.

As the decades passed, the theatre wove itself into the social fabric of many generations. The upper floors have transitioned in use several times, from a lively grand ballroom for private parties and events, to offices and storage, and at times even apartments for local residents. These unused floors have since fallen into disrepair, offering an exciting opportunity for renovation and revitalization. 

About the Renovation Project

The Eagles Theatre Renovation Project was recently awarded funds from the Regional Cities Initiative, a state-funded program designed to grow Northeast Indiana’s population to 1 million by 2031. Leaders of the project intend to reach the goal through efforts that attract talent and business opportunities and stimulate overall economic growth.

​The purpose of the renovation project is two-fold. In part, it’s a cosmetic and structural renovation, but it will also establish new educational programs to benefit the local and regional community.

​By the end of the renovation, the theatre will boast two separate movie screens, event spaces, educational classrooms and more. The facility will be able to accommodate an array of new educational and community programs, and is designed to enhance arts opportunities for the northeastern Indiana community. 

​The Eagles Renovation Project Campaign aims to raise $18 million to support building renovations plus sustaining funds for ongoing programmatic and maintenance needs. To reach the goal, funding is needed from both public grants and private donations.

# # #

*For more information, contact:

  • Jennifer Hughes, Heartland Early College Career Center Assistant Dean of Instruction

Phone: (260) 563-7481, ext. 1255 or E-Mail: jhughes@vinu.edu

  • Hayley Beauchamp, Honeywell Foundation, PR and Marketing Manager

Phone: (260) 274-1437 or E-Mail: hbeauchamp@honeywellfoundation.org

 

~

The Early College Philosophy

For every 100 low-income students who start high school, only 65 earn a high school diploma and only 45 will enroll in college. Only 11 will complete a postsecondary degree. High school graduates from poor families who score in the top testing quartile are no more likely than their lowest-scoring, affluent peers to attend college. The former enroll at rates of 78%; the latter at 77%.

The Early College model helps address these dismal numbers. It is centered on developing the opportunity to:

  • increase high school graduation rates and post-secondary entrance and completion rates,
  • remove major barriers to post-secondary access, and
  • ease the transition from high school to college.

Early college successes

The success of Early College programs is undeniable. According to Jobs for the Future, Early College high schools have a significantly higher graduation rate than the national average of approximately 72%.  VU’s Early Colleges share in this success; notably, Ben Davis University High School has graduated 100 % of its students every year since 2011.  And, the success of VU’s Early Colleges is especially noteworthy when considering the student population served: low-income youth, first-generation college goers, English language learners, students of color, and young people underrepresented in higher education.

Early College Savings

Early College high schools save considerable costs for the State of Indiana and students. Studies indicate that Early Colleges are a cost-effective way for states to improve college completion. In addition to decreased textbook costs, Early College students attain transferable credit at a fraction of the cost they would have paid at traditional public colleges in Indiana. Most importantly, students leave Early College programs with no debt.

The Early College Models

While the goals and rigor are consistent, the structure of the Early College model can be customized to the needs of a school corporation and its students. Currently, Vincennes University include stand-alone early college high schools models, an early college within a school model, a model in which the entire high school converts to an early college, and the career and technical early college model.

The following is a link to "Online College for High School" content found on the VU Distance Education web site: https://my.vinu.edu/web/distance-education/online-college-for-high-school-program

This page includes the Online College for High School Course Request Form in the "Quick Links" section.

 

Early College Site Contacts

 

Dual Credit Home Office

Heather Moffat, Sr. Director of Dual Credit Partnerships.....................................................812-888-4120

Dr. Nicole Shankle, Dean of Early College...................................................................... 812-888-4182

Troy Guthrie, CTE Communications Coordinator...............................................................812-888-4535

Kasey Miles, Dual Credit Program Coordinator................................................................812-888-5132

Amy Coots, Dual Credit Quality Assurance Coordinator................................................... 812-888-4086

Angela Rogers, Early College Office Coordinator............................................................812-888-4459

Becky Ice, Project EXCEL Office Manager..................................................................... 812-888-4344

Bethany Keller, Project EXCEL Office Coordinator...........................................................812-888-4844

 

Ben Davis University

  • Assistant Dean, Tieree Reid.............................................................................. 317-988-7861
  • Coordinator, Tracey Hart....................................................................................317-988-7865
  • Secretary, Brenda Yantis................................................................................... 317-988-7862

Center Grove Early College

  • Assistant Dean, Andrew Findlay........................................................................ 317-881-0581 ext. 4423
  • Coordinator, Kim Rodgers-Weeks...................................................................... 317-881-0581 ext. 4156
  • Secretary, Lorie Teike....................................................................................... 317-881-0581 ext. 4447

East Allen University

  • Assistant Dean, Odelet Nance........................................................................... 260-446-0240 ext. 7502
  • Secretary, Ashley Perkins................................................................................. 260-446-0240 ext. 7504

Lawrenceburg Early College

  • Assistant Dean, Tonya Mathis........................................................................... 812-532-3308
  • Secretary, Bonnie Kort-Teaney.......................................................................... 812-532-3328

North Side High School Early College

  • Assistant Dean, Odelet Nance........................................................................... 260-446-0240 ext. 7502
  • Director, Glenda Ervins..................................................................................... 260-446-0240 ext. 7503
  • Secretary, Ashley Perkins................................................................................. 260-446-0240 ext. 7504

North White
Assistant Dean, Ron Dow...........................................................................................317-258-8920

 

Perry Meridian High School Early College

  • Assistant Dean, Andrew Findlay........................................................................ 317-881-0581 ext, 4423


Tippecanoe School Corpration/Wildcat Creek

  • Assistant Dean, Ron Dow..................................................................................317-258-8920

Vincennes Lincoln High School Early College

  • Assistant Dean, Tim Bauer................................................................................ 812-330-7730
  • Coordinator, Karisa Bauer................................................................................... 812-882-6053

Wabash City Schools

  • Assistant Dean, Jennifer Hughes....................................................................... 260-563-7481 ext. 1255

Washington High School Early College

  • Assistant Dean, Tim Bauer                                                                         812-330-7730 ext. 42508
  • Coordinator, Dana Arvin.................................................................................... 812-254-8352 ext. 275

Area 30 Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Michael Woods........................................................................ 765-653-3515

Area 31 Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Tieree Reid.............................................................................. 317-988-7861
  • Director, Ieshia Webster-Harris.......................................................................... 317-988-7262

Central 9 Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Andrew Findlay........................................................................ 317-881-0581 ext. 4423
  • Director, Kristin Conley.....................................................................................  317-888-4401

Elkhart Area Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Michael Hepner......................................................................  574-262-5650

Hammond Career Center (ACCU)

  • Assistant Dean, Angela Watson......................................................................... 219-933-2428 ext. 2038
  • Secretary, Melissa Benavidez............................................................................ 219-933-2428 ext. 2032

Heartland Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Jennifer Hughes....................................................................... 260.563.7481 ext. 1255

Hoosier Hills Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Tim Bauer................................................................................ 812-330-7730 ext. 42508

McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology

  • Assistant Dean, Brent Stocksdale...................................................................... 317-964-8036

New Palestine High School
Assistant Dean, Brent Stocksdale...................................................................... 317-964-8036

 

Porter County Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Angela Watson......................................................................... 219-933-2428 ext. 2038
  • Director, Kendall Martin..................................................................................... 219-531-3170

Prosser Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Stanley Wheeler....................................................................... 812-981-7680

River Forest – TBD

 

Southeastern Career Center

  • Assistant Dean, Tonya Mathis........................................................................... 812-532-3308
  • Director, Karen O'Neal.......................................................................812-689-5253, ext. 247