Indiana - Education

Education

Indiana's 1816 constitution was the first in the country to implement a state-funded public school system. It also allotted one township for a public university. However, the plan turned out to be far too idealistic for a pioneer society, as tax money was not accessible for its organization. In the 1840s, Caleb Mills pressed the need for tax-supported schools, and in 1851 his advice was included in the new state constitution.

Although the growth of the public school system was held up by legal entanglements, many public elementary schools were in use by 1870. Most children in Indiana attend public schools, but nearly 10% attend private schools and parochial schools. About one-half of all college students in Indiana are enrolled in state-supported four-year schools.

The largest educational institution is Indiana University, the flagship campus of which was endorsed as Indiana Seminary in 1820. Indiana State University was established as the state's Normal School in 1865; Purdue University was chartered as a land-grant college in 1869. The three other independent state universities are Vincennes University (1802), Ball State University (1918) and University of Southern Indiana (1965).

Many of the private colleges and universities in Indiana are affiliated with religious groups. The University of Notre Dame and the University of Saint Francis are popular Roman Catholic schools. Universities affiliated with Protestant denominations include Anderson University, Butler University, Taylor University, DePauw University, Earlham College, Valparaiso University, University of Indianapolis, and University of Evansville.

Taylor University has been ranked first in the guide's America’s Best Colleges among 109 Midwest Regional Colleges for five years in a row. Additionally, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been rated the best undergraduate engineering program by the magazine since the year 2000.

Ivy Tech Community College is the nation's largest state-wide community college with single accreditation. It is the state's largest public post-secondary institution serving nearly 200,000 students a year.

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