USA Funds® has awarded a $500,000 planning grant to develop a business plan for a new polytechnic school in Indianapolis. The development of Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis aligns with USA Funds’ focus on Completion With a PurposeSM — building a more purposeful path to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives — in several ways:
- The school will seamlessly link high school to the first two years of postsecondary education.
- Its curriculum will focus on STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – subjects to prepare students for employment in high-wage, high-demand careers.
- The program will promote linkages between education and employment through internal career tracks, experiential learning and significant employer collaboration.
USA Funds is working in partnership with Purdue University, the city of Indianapolis and Employ Indy to support development of a business plan for the school.
Current plans call for the school to begin enrolling students in 2017.
Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis is specifically designed to develop a new generation of skilled talent by seamlessly transitioning students from high school and postsecondary education to high-wage, high-demand jobs.
Graduates will emerge in four years from this polytechnic high school with skills to meet the evolving needs of industry, and with dual credits for continued postsecondary education, industry- recognized credentials and mastery in a defined high-tech pathway. Curricula will be developed in concert with industry, influenced by postsecondary instructors, and will reflect not only the skills needed today but will evolve, in real-time to address changing needs.
Polytechnic embodies innovation, draws real-world concepts from community partnerships and embraces change along the path toward student and community success. Now, more than ever, the need is great for innovative learning experiences that lead to skilled talent. In Central Indiana alone, companies struggle to find skilled talent, and the challenge is only predicted to increase.
Polytechnic is the answer – for students, industry and the community at large.
Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis will be unlike any educational experience offered in Indiana. The rigorous curricula and learning environment are built on strong industry relationships, an innovative partnership with Purdue University and a goal to ensure a diverse student body succeeds in the 21st Century economy.
The Student Experience
Students will enter the Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis with a supportive learning community dedicated to assisting students at different levels of high school readiness for the intensive curricula the school will offer. Extensive tutoring and remediation supports will be in place and could include extended school days and/or summer bridge programs.
The first two years of high school education will encompass the best practices in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-focused schools nationally. Only after students demonstrate mastery will they advance through a defined pathway in areas of focus that could include advanced manufacturing, computing and information technology.
Learning in the 9th and 10th grades will be problem/project-based and will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a connection between those subjects and real-world challenges. Students will learn first-hand about STEM careers through work-based learning and internship opportunities.
Following an exit capstone, students entering 11th grade will select a specific pathway, putting them on track to master skills, earn college credits and industry credentials. Students will be afforded the opportunity to learn in the high school classroom, in cohorts on the Purdue University campus and in the workplace.
12th-grade students will complete an internship of their selection within their chosen pathway. Purdue will provide programs that help students transition from high school to college and college- level courses.
Faculty will be invested in the student experience throughout the educational continuum – by teaching in the classroom, providing professional development to certify high school teachers to teach dual credit courses and supporting students as they reach college.
Partnerships at Work
Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis is a multi-dimensional partnership model. It’s a blending of K-12 and postsecondary education with an infusion of industry participation. Purdue University, industry and the community will be engaged in the day-to-day aspects of the high school, sharing responsibilities for teaching, professional development and curriculum development that will be challenging and rigorous. Industry’s role will be of utmost importance as they work with Purdue and its partners work to develop the academic model, and define and refine the competencies students need to master to succeed in the 21st Century economy. In addition to the classroom instruction delivered by Purdue professors and high school teachers certified to teach dual credit courses, industry will provide learning experiences to students either through internships or other work-based learning opportunities and field trips, serving as mentors and helping students learn outside the classroom.
Building the region’s future workforce is a community effort and a priority for the continued success of our region and our students. The Polytechnic approach gets us one step closer to bringing all the essential ingredients together for student, community and industry success.