Excellence in Education

Marquette's Early College Program Earns CELL Re-Endorsement

Marquette Remains Only Catholic High School in Indiana to Hold Certification

The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis announced Monday that Marquette Catholic High School has earned re-endorsement of its Early College (EC) program. This marks Marquette’s first re-endorsement as an outstanding early college program. The school received its initial accreditation in April 2021.

Marquette remains the only Indiana Catholic high school to feature a CELL-endorsed early college program.

“These endorsed Early College High Schools have documented evidence of quality programs that help high school students graduate high school and accelerate into post-secondary education, whether at a four-year institution or a career/technical program. The strong leadership of principal Katie Collignon and director of academic affairs Tracy Wagner, with support from superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Gary Colleen Brewer, creates the vision and implements the mission of this dynamic program,” said Sandy Hillman, CELL director of early college.

The Early College high-school model creates small schools designed to give students jumpstarts for the rest of their lives. Students can earn both high school diplomas and up to two years of credit toward bachelor’s or associate degrees. While open to all students, Early College programs specifically serve low-income young people, first-generation college students, English language learners, and students of color. 

To be considered for endorsement, the school prepared a portfolio that addressed the eight required principles established by CELL, including providing a rigorous curriculum, robust student support, and completion data. In addition, a CELL team visited Marquette to interview administrators, teachers, students, and parents about the early college program and its benefits and challenges before bestowing re-endorsement.

“Our early college program represents a tangible accomplishment as part of our broader mission of ensuring both college preparedness and college success. Our re-endorsement is a credit to our students’ work ethic and the commitment of our faculty in maintaining the credentials they need to teach such a deep menu of dual-credit courses,” said Tracy Wagner.

Of Marquette’s 24 faculty members, 21 hold a master’s degree. The school will remain endorsed until 2027 when it will apply for its second re-endorsement.