Owen County Education & Workforce Development

Owen County is fortunate to have quality education and workforce development tools at our finger tips. With top notch school systems and multiple universities within driving distance, it makes for a highly qualified and skilled workforce. Not only is our workforce skilled, but our citizens have a certain sense of pride and passion for excellence with good character and stamina. From a strongly agrarian society, the work ethic is unmatched in moral fiber, dependability and integrity. 

Take a moment and visit the many educational institutions below. You will see that excellence in education makes for an important resource for any community. We are thankful for these opportunities.

WorkOne - Owen County Express

WorkOne offers a variety of programs and services in partnership with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The Owen County Express office in Spencer is located at 205 E. Morgan St., Suite B.

To reach them during their regular hours of operation call (812) 829-6511. You may also visit www.in.gov/dwd/WorkOne/ for more information.

Spencer-Owen County Community Schools

Spencer-Owen Community Schools is made up of:
  • Gosport Elementary School
  • McCormick's Creek Elementary School
  • Patricksburg Elementary School
  • Spencer Elementary School
  • Owen Valley Middle School
  • Owen Valley High School

S-OCS serves 10 of 13 townships in Owen County. It is a top-notch school system the effectively combines modern educational models with the solid character of a rural community.

Superintendent of Schools: Dr. Chad Briggs

The S-OCS School Board is comprised of the following individuals and meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month:
  • Kevin Cooper - President
  • Amber Willen - Vice President
  • Rick Smeltzer - Secretary
  • Larry Hight - Secretary Pro Tem
  • Sonia Brinson
  • Brian Mauder
  • Jack White


Owen Valley High School

Mascot: The Patriots
Principal: Rhonda Schafer
Assistant Principal: George Jennings

The sole high school located in Owen County, OVHS is located in Spencer, Indiana. The school offers a wide range of academic courses, including numerous dual-credit and AP classes. Students can test their career choices as a by-product of their senior project or by participating in the Senior Internship and Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education (I.C.E.) programs. The area career center,Hoosier Hill Career Center (http://www.mccsc.net/subsite/hhcc/page/career-services-3403), provides options in agribusiness, auto service, biomedical science, construction science, health, culinary arts, IT training, and pre-engineering. 

Owen Valley High School has adopted the academy model of small learning communities. The Freshman Academy bridges the gap between middle school preparation and high school expectations in addition to preparing students to choose their career academy. Our four career academies align with area business and industry: life science, engineering, technology, human services, and the arts. Because all students area eventually career bound and may be college bound at some point, OVHS recommends that students attain an 8-credit major from one strand in their academy. In consort with area businesses, academy teams develop course sequences and ideas for project-, problem-, and inquiry-based learning. Combined, these strategies focus, engage, motivate, and retain students. 

The campus was recently fully modernized with new science classrooms and labs, music and art facilities, auditorium, auxiliary gymnasium, and administrative offices. Computers abound, as each business room is a teaching lab and all academies have an access lab. 

Accreditation: North Central Association, spring 2006
Affiliations: High Schools that Work Career Majors Initiative (Indiana Department of Workforce Development), National Career Academy Coalition
Honors: 2002 New American High School; HSTW Pacesetter
Mission: Owen Valley High School educates and empowers all students to meet high standards of learning.


Owen County residents living in the upper three townships (Jackson, Jennings & Taylor) attend Cloverdale Community Schools in Putnam County.


Patriot Expo:

The Patriot Expo, also known as the "senior project", is a requirement for all Owen Valley graduates. It is a five-phase program for which students are required to submit a proposal, write a research paper on a topic of their interest, create a related project with the help of a mentor, develop a portfolio of the entire process, and present the project to a board of community members and teachers for judging. More than a class project, Patriot Expo is an experience that gauges students' readiness for life beyond high school. Area universities attest to the fact that is great college-prep work, as well. 

The Patriot Expo engages students in self-directed learning, which promotes the transition from the school climate to the work world and college. Students research beyond the school walls in a quest that synthesizes prior learning, magnifies the realities and responsibilities of the community, fosters creativity, and leads to a recognition of individual talents and abilities. Closely aligned with the school's expectations, the Patriot Expo emphasizes critical thinking, independent and cooperative learning, research skills, improved written and oral communication, presentation skills, and a life-long commitment to learning. 

Project Lead the Way

In partnership with Owen Valley High School and Boston Scientific, Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) education programs. Students in the classroom are the main focus, always striving to find better ways to develop motivated, confident, interested students and ultimately create a more rewarding classroom environment for both students and teachers. 

PLTW allows students to make a difference every day. With a hands-on, real-world curriculum, PLTW is the fastest-growing formal and rigorous STEM education program in the country. It offers courses in engineering and biomedical sciences for all students from middle through high school. They work with schools' existing programs, training teachers, and invite other educators and professionals to join the mission. 
  • PLTW graduates are 5 to 10 times more likely than non-PLTW graduates to study postsecondary engineering and technology.
  • 95 percent of PLTW seniors say they're excited and prepared for college and careers.
  • 97 percent of PLTW seniors intend to pursue four-year degrees.

Use these links to find out more about the Engineering andBiomedical Sciences Curriculum and how the power of PLTW is working at Owen Valley High School.

Area Universities 

Butler University - a nationally ranked, private university located in Indianapolis, Butler University has an enrollment of about 4,400 students. It offers over 60 areas of study in five academic colleges: Business, Education, Fine Arts, Liberal Arts & Sciences and Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Students gain professional preparation with a liberal arts foundation. 

DePauw University - nationally recognized, DePauw provides a set of exceptional college experiences marked by intellectual rigor and shaped by a dynamic faculty. These experiences are further enhanced by an engaging residential campus community and a breadth and depth of perspectives inside and outside of the classroom. For nearly 175 years, a DePauw education has provided students with a solid foundation for a lifetime of living and learning and helped graduates achieve uncommon success in a wide variety of fields around the nation and the world. 

Franklin College - a residential four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus located 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis. The college prepares men and women for significant careers through the liberal arts, offering its 1,047 students 36 majors, including biology, business, education and journalism. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. 

Harrison College - with 5 campuses (Columbus, Indianapolis, Indianapolis East, Indianapolis Northwest & Terre Haute) within driving distance from Spencer/Owen County, Harrison College offers a variety of workforce development options. Committed to providing quality career-focused education in the areas of business, culinary, criminal justice, health sciences, information technology and veterinary technology, students can pursue certifications, associates or bachelor degrees. 

Indiana State University - The Princeton Review has named Indiana State University as among the Best in the Midwest for the sixth year in a row. Was selected as one of 158 institutions it recommends as among the "Best in the Midwest." Indiana State offers "a good education at a reasonable cost" and that students can expect a "really special" experience. From the small class size to the quality professors, students wrote that ISU helps them "to grow personally, intellectually and socially." 

Indiana University - attracts students from around the globe. Founded in 1820, IU Bloomington is the flagship campus of Indiana University's eight campuses statewide. Innovation, creativity, and academic freedom are hallmarks of IU Bloomington and its world-class contributions in research and the arts. For traditions like the world-famous Little 500 bicycle race and a commitment to emerging technologies, IU was named the "Hottest Big State School" in 2005 by Newsweek, America s Hot Colleges. While IU's amazing arts and entertainment offerings play a large role in the city's cultural atmosphere, Bloomington is extraordinary in its own right. Bloomington residents and IU students, faculty, and staff form a vibrant, active community that benefits from the metropolitan qualities of a large city and the easy pace of a small town. 

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis - one of the top 15 "up and coming" American universities that U.S. News and World Report says people should be watching, and the 8th best public college in the Midwest according to Forbes; home of nationally-ranked programs in nursing, public and environmental affairs, law, and health; and a campus renowned for service learning and civic engagement. IUPUI is Indiana's premier urban university, with 20 schools and academic units which grant degrees in more than 200 programs from both Indiana University and Purdue University. Its location within blocks of downtown Indianapolis facilitates advancement of research and teaching, and presents unique opportunities for internships, partnerships, community engagement, and more. IUPUI enrolls more than 30,000 students representing all 50 states and 122 countries. 

Ivy Tech Community College - with four different campuses (Bloomington, Central Indiana, Columbus, Wabash Valley) within driving distance of Spencer/Owen County, Ivy Tech has become one of the most aggressive in workforce development in the State of Indiana. Each campus offers two-year degrees and certifications in a variety of fields. Visit their website for more details about the respective programs at each location. 

Kaplan College - offers two campuses in Indianapolis and focuses upon education in the fields of allied health, criminal justice and trade (i.e. electrical technician diploma). Offering a variety of certifications up to an associate's degree in many fields, it is a career school with a commuter campus - working to prepare the next generation of Indiana's workforce. 

Marian University - a Catholic and Franciscan University with a variety of programs in business, education, liberal arts, mathematics & sciences as well as nursing, Marian University boasts an enrollment of approximately 2,000 each year. Located in Indianapolis, it is regionally accredited 4-year university offering associates, bachelors and masters degrees. 

Martin University - Martin University's original mission was (and still is) to serve low-income, minority, and adult learners has not changed, although students from all backgrounds have always been welcome. While the average age of the students remains around 40 years of age, they are enrolling a growing number of young people. The campus moved to Avondale Place in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood (in Indianapolis) in 1987. While the average student is an adult, often with children and even grandchildren, they are currently enrolling a growing number of students between the ages of 18 to 22. 

Rose Hulman Institute Techology - is a small, private, college specializing in engineering, mathematics and science. RHIT is highly regarded for its undergraduate engineering program, which US News and World Reports ranked in 2010 as the best in the United States of schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's degree. Its 295-acre campus is located in Terre Haute. 

Saint Mary of the Woods College - "Founded in 1840 by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and the Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) is the oldest Catholic liberal arts college for women in the United States. Today, SMWC thrives by offering a rich liberal arts education, scholarships and financial aid opportunities to make college affordable, individual attention, a value-centered education in a Catholic tradition, and a wide variety of student leadership activities. The College also takes pride in its long history of traditions and commitment to academic excellence. In fact, both Princeton Review and U.S.News & World Report consistently rank SMWC as one of the Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest." 

University of Indianapolis - "The University of Indianapolis is a comprehensive institution of higher education with a faculty and student body representing diverse faiths, nationalities, and racial and ethnic heritages. The 4,600 students are drawn from around the world to the academically challenging undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs, and especially the strong programs in business, education and the nationally ranked health sciences." 

Affordable Colleges Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing free higher education tools for current and future college students and their families, recently published research on all the Not-For-Profit universities and colleges in Indiana that offer online college programs.  Historically, online programs have only been offered by for-profit institutions.  Today, many of the most established not-for-profit state colleges and national universities have launched programs that provide flexibility and lower tuition prices for students.  This dataset is unique to our site and is even ahead of the curve compared to other government education data sources such as NCES and IPEDS.  A few of the key features on the page:

  - Unique list of accredited not-for-profit institutions offering online programs, sorted by affordability

  - Spotlight interviews provided by many college deans with the institution's philosophy on online learning

  - Direct links to the specific online departments, or e-campus, of each institution


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