Purdue’s largest freshmen class will include first-time graduates from Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis

Purdue's largest freshmen class will include first-time graduates from Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The qualified student pipeline flowing from Indianapolis to West Lafayette is now open. The latest Purdue enrollment data shows the university is reaching students and families in the state capital like never before.

Forty first graders from the Schweitzer Center at Purdue Polytechnic High School in Englewood, Indianapolis are among the 10,000+ freshmen expected to arrive on campus later this summer as part of the university’s largest freshmen class. In addition to the PPHS Schweitzer Center on the east side of Indianapolis, there is the North Campus near the Broad Ripple district in Indianapolis and PPHS South Bend.

The university founded Purdue Polytechnic High Schools (PPHS) to build new K-12 pathways leading to Purdue, especially for Hoosier students who are underserved by traditional high schools and underrepresented in higher education.

Michael Berghoff, Chairman of the Purdue Board of Trustees, speaks with Trevon Lowman, a PPHS senior, after the senior breakfast. (Purdue University photo) Download image

“These students are pioneers, the first of hundreds that we want to graduate from PPHS schools and come to Purdue,” said Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue. “Since it was founded four years ago, I have considered our PPHS schools to be one of our most important initiatives. No action we take can have a greater or more direct effect on bringing a more diverse student body to our campus. “

Eleven students from Indianapolis Public Schools have been admitted to Purdue West Lafayette for the 2021-22 school year, most since 2019. Headmaster Shatoya Ward talks about the first senior class and Purdue admitted students in this YouTube video.

The growing, multi-school PPHS system was founded in 2017 and puts students and their families in an innovative learning community. PPHS provides tuition-free, authentic, STEM-oriented experiences that prepare students for a successful future. These experiences include internships, industrial projects, dual credit courses, and technical certifications. PPHS also offers its students a unique path to college. Graduates who meet Purdue’s admission requirements are assured admission to many of Purdue’s programs.

Scott Bess, principal for PPHS. (Purdue University photo) Download image

Scott Bess, principal for PPHS, says it is part of Purdue’s commitment and mission to be Indiana’s land grant university to serve all residents.

“This is the case with this land grant mission. We had to risk our name and our reputation. We had to do something bold, ”he said.

PPHS is known for providing a different experience for students and families. Some want a more intimate learning environment or a way to get to Purdue. Others are looking for an innovative approach to learning compared to traditional educational models.

One of the differentiators is that students can work on eight to ten passion projects for a year. Previous projects have included developing business plans for hydroponics, fighting climate change and the food deserts in Indianapolis, as well as partnering with local businesses on some of the real-world problems they face in the industry.

Adrian Martinez, a senior from Purdue at the Schweitzer Center at Purdue Polytechnic High School in Englewood, is preparing for graduation on June 11th. (Purdue University photo) Download image

Eric Martinez, Senior at the PPHS Schweitzer Center in Englewood and member of the first graduation class, speaks about the importance of passion projects and the continuous encouragement and support provided by trainers in the projects. Martinez has just completed a passion project that designed and built a cardboard chair inspired by the elegant, on-display roof lines of Japanese pagodas.

“At PPHS, our passion projects present us with so many different types of problems to solve,” said Martinez. “It has built my confidence to learn that not only does every challenge have multiple solutions, but I also have the opportunity to think about the different options, having had the experience of project-based learning.”

PPHS locations are still accepting student enrollment applications this fall. For more information on registering with PPHS, please contact the PPHS Network Office at [email protected]

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Purdue has been ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative Universities in the United States by US News & World Report, delivering modified research and discoveries worldwide that are out of this world. Purdue is committed to hands-on and online learning in the real world, providing transformative education to all. Purdue is committed to affordability and accessibility and has frozen tuition and most fees for the 2012-2013 period, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See at https://purdue.edu/ how Purdue never stops chasing the next big leap.

Writer, media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (cell),

[email protected], @mo_oates

Swell: Mitch Daniels, [email protected]

Scott Bess, [email protected]

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