A revolutionary school backed by a pioneering university

“Recognizing that far too few urban Indianapolis high school graduates are academically prepared for the rigors of post-secondary education in scientific and technological studies, Purdue is leading in the creation of Purdue Polytechnic High School.”

Mitch E. Daniels Jr.
President, Purdue University
Former Governor, State of Indiana


High school graduates are entering college ill-prepared for the rigors of post-secondary education. The traditional classroom experience – centered around prescribed schedules and teacher lectures - leaves many students without the ability to navigate the collaborative, self-directed pace of post-secondary education. Many students also lack the necessary technical aptitudes, on-the-job-experience and life skills employers demand. These are symptoms of an educational system that hasn’t kept pace with a 21st century, global economy that is technology-focused and values life-long learning and problem-solving.

Meet a new school of thought: Purdue Polytechnic High School.

Founded by Purdue University and the City of Indianapolis in partnership with community, industry and academic leaders, Purdue Polytechnic High School prepares students to succeed in technical, STEM-related post-secondary programs and high-tech careers.  

Purdue Polytechnic High School inspires students to pursue their passion through the lens of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), hands-on and project-based learning, industry partnerships and a flexible, personalized learning environment.

STEM-focused: Our students learn core academic principles and skills needed in the 21st century economy through an immersive STEM experience. Our students graduate with a well-rounded education, possessing the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in college and the workforce.

Hands-on and Project-based Learning: Students use their hands and their minds, learning by doing, not just by listening. Students collaborate with fellow classmates, coaches and industry mentors to successfully complete projects that are designed by our industry partners. These projects challenge students to dive deep into research, determine commercial viability, gather data and brainstorm solutions, conduct trials and build prototypes toward the best project outcome. This learning method – called the PPHS Design Process – is at the center of everything we do at Purdue Polytechnic High School.

Industry Partnerships: Our industry partners – from Eli Lilly and Company to Citizens Energy Group and more – serve as our guides. They partner with our teachers to design projects and curriculum that will prepare students for success. They also mentor and support our students, teaching them about career opportunities available in the Indianapolis market, opening their workplaces for student tours and internships, helping students complete their projects and providing feedback on student work.

Flexible and Personalized Learning Environment: Every student has a personalized learning coach (the PPHS word for “teacher”) and is assigned to an advisory group of 15 to 17 students with whom they start and end each day. Students work with their coaches and fellow students to set goals, review progress, discuss current events, and plan their learning activities to build their own schedules for the week. Students have ownership of their learning schedule, seek mentoring and support when they need it, and learn how to manage their workload and schedules.

At Purdue Polytechnic High School, students are inspired, engaged, immersed and in charge of their learning. They leave high school with college credit, in-demand industry credentials as well as preferred admission to Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

Fast Facts

Nearly 60 percent of first-year college students must take remedial classes in order to catch up, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.

85 percent of the jobs that exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet, according to the Institute for the Future.

Mission: Create an environment of academic excellence characterized by industry-focused experiential learning; mentors who nurture, guide and trust; and students who develop a natural thirst to learn in preparation for their lifelong journeys.

Vision: Develop a new generation of skilled talent by seamlessly transitioning student graduates from high school to college to high-tech and/or high-wage jobs. Successful graduates earn admission to Purdue University and will be prepared to thrive.

Values: Build a culture of communication, collaboration and innovation that creates a positive and supportive environment conducive to high academic achievement.