Summary description: The Purdue Polytechnic High School


Purdue’s Polytechnic Indianapolis High School will help close the educational gap for many Indianapolis students. Now, more than ever, the need is great to deliver more innovative learning experiences and provide opportunities to high school students who have STEM capabilities but might not have access to tailored programs to ensure their success. Polytechnic is a unique solution that will cater specifically to these students and help them emerge with the knowledge and skills needed for personal, professional and community success.

Introducing the Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis High School

The Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis High School will be unlike any educational experience offered in Indiana and, potentially, the nation. 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 Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis High School will be a new charter school and 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 Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis 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. This high school also provides successful students a direct pathway to Purdue University for further education and skills mastery.

Industry plays an important role in curricula development; curricula will be informed by industry, align with industry needs and result in a robust pipeline of skilled, ready-to-work talent. 

The Student Experience

Students will enter the Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis High School prepared and with a supportive learning community dedicated to assisting at different levels of high school readiness for the intensive curricula the school will offer. Extensive tutoring, mentoring and remediation supports will be in place and could include extended school days or summer bridge programs.

The first two years of high school education will encompass the best practices in STEM-focused schools nationally. Only after students demonstrate mastery will they advance through a defined pathway in areas of focus that could include advanced manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, and computer and information technology.

Learning in the 9th and 10th grades will be problem/project-based and focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a connection between those subjects and real-world challenges. Students will learn firsthand 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. In the 12th grade, students will complete an internship of their selection within their chosen pathway.

At the same time, Purdue will provide programs that help students’ transition from high school to college and college-level courses. Purdue faculty will be invested in the student experience throughout the educational continuum – 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

The Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis High School is a multidimensional partnership model. It’s a blending of K-12 and post-secondary education with an infusion of industry leadership and participation.

Purdue University and industry partners and the community will be engaged and invested in many aspects of the Polytechnic model.

Industry’s role will be vital, working in partnership with Purdue to develop the academic model and define and refine the competencies students must master to succeed in the 21st century economy. While Purdue professors and high school teachers certified to teach dual credit courses will deliver classroom instruction, industry will provide learning experiences to students through internships or other work-based learning opportunities and field trips, serving as mentors and helping students learn outside the classroom.

Building the future workforce is 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.  

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