Indiana University, Ivy Tech and Public Schools in Bloomington

By Pamela Coyle on April 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm EST

Bloomington and Indiana University’s flagship campus have grown up together.

Founded in 1820, the first state college west of the Allegheny Mountains now enrolls 40,000 students in 19 schools, colleges and divisions. Indiana University Bloomington is a major research institution, with undergraduate and graduate programs that consistently score big.

Specialized libraries are open to the public, including Lilly Library, with 400,000 rare books, 7 million manuscripts and a Gutenberg Bible on permanent display. The Archives of Traditional Music includes an ode to Hoagy Carmichael with a roomful of memorabilia, Oscar and Grammy awards, manuscripts and a piano.

If that’s not enough, The Campus as a Work of Art by Thomas A. Gaines declares the setting as one of the country’s five most beautiful campuses. Notable spots include Jordan Hall Greenhouse, the iconic Sample Gates, a two-ton Birth of Venus sculpture that anchors the Fine Arts Plaza, Kirkwood Observatory and the Arboretum.

Indiana’s third largest state college has a foothold in “B-Town,” too. Ivy Tech State College offers associate degrees and certificate programs plus specialized education-to-work paths; its business, health sciences and engineering science programs are especially popular. Ivy Tech has 24 sites across Indiana, and the Bloomington campus enrolls about 3,000 students.

Monroe County Community School Corporation runs the public school system in Bloomington. The academic year starts in mid-August. Bloomington Early College lets students take classes at IU or Ivy Tech and earn up to 18 college credits while completing their high school requirements. Bloomington New Tech High School enrolled its first class of freshmen for 2008-09, focusing on project-based learning and measuring achievement by eight outcomes that include written communication, citizenship, work ethic and numeracy.

The city has several Christian academies and a Montessori school. St. Charles Catholic School is a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and serves kids in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Harmony School has four programs for first grade on up, including a high school with 60 students. It’s a unique, reform-minded institution.

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