"When I first heard about University, I saw that it was a very different place. I couldn't believe a school like this existed." Jenny Cox, Math Instructor
Our commitment to time and energy for genuine student/teacher relationships allows for meaningful instruction and assessment, a personalized approach to education, and the time and energy to truly engage. Most classes at University number less than 20 students, so the average teacher has a total of 60-80 students. In addition, our teachers teach four classes; in a seven-period day, four classes and mentoring allows for two prep periods most days.
The role of mentor serves as the equivalent of a fifth "class," although mentoring is nothing like a homeroom period. Every staff member, including the business manager and head of school, mentors up to ten students. At a minimum, mentors meet privately with each student mentee every other week for a 30-40 minute conversation. Mentors serve as advisors, advocates, counselors, confidantes and cheerleaders. Many teachers find that mentoring is the most intense, but also the most rewarding of their roles at University.
Teachers at University have tremendous autonomy within a curriculum that is both traditional and progressive. At the same time, departments work together on scope and sequence in alignment with state and national standards and proficiencies. Many school policies and decisions are discussed in full faculty meetings and are often made by consensus. In this way, teachers at University High School feel a level of investment and contribution that is unique. Teachers are empowered.
Students at University enjoy genuine empowerment, too. They routinely help devise January Term courses, serve on discipline and hiring committees, and initiate and manage clubs and service projects. Students are respected as partners in their own education and stewards of the school. They have a voice.
Administrative and support positions are as involved with the students and what happens in the classroom as teachers are. All staff members serve as mentors and many administrators teach one or two courses. Far from being removed from the day-to-day classroom experience, teachers, administrators and support staff all are integral members of the community.
Other Things to Know About University High School
Students in grades 9-12: 278
Faculty and staff: 40
Student-teacher ratio: 9-to-1
Average class size: 15
Staff with PhDs: 10%
Staff with master's degrees: 50%
Average teaching experience: 14 years
Multicultural students: 20%
Scored 3 or higher on AP exams: 78%
Accepted to college: 100%
Four-year individualized college counseling program
Three-week January Term intensive
One-to-one laptop program enhances learning
Competitive, inclusive Indiana High School Athletic Association sports program
Six core values underpin the curriculum and culture of the school: Diversity, Excellence, Personal Responsibility, Stewardship, Creativity, and Mutual Respect, Support and Trust