News and Tribune

November 21, 2011

Area students get a day out at Purdue

Program lets students learn more about university


NEW ALBANY — In the last five years, more than 300 area high school students have experienced their first day in college — while still enrolled in high school — through Purdue’s “Day in College” in New Albany.

“‘Day in College’ provides hands-on demonstrations of the Purdue courses offered in New Albany,” said Andy Schaffer, director of the Purdue College of Technology’s Southern Indiana Region.

High school students and their parents experimented with electrical and mechanical engineering equipment in the Ogle Foundation Labs, built a complex gear mechanism and observed Purdue students’ animation projects in the college’s Horseshoe Foundation MacIntosh Lab. Purdue College of Technology at New Albany hosted 53 high school students at its most recent fall events.

“This Purdue program encourages high school counselors, teachers and home-school leaders to nominate college-bound students for a sneak peak at college,” Schaffer said.

Day in College expanded this year to include high school freshmen and sophomores thanks to a grant from Metro United Way and the Community Foundation of Louisville. Purdue received the grant to buy degree-related items for all participants, such as a voice synthesizer that was given to all students interested in electrical engineering technology.  The grant supports the 55,000 Degrees initiative to increase college attendance in the Kentuckiana area.

Day in College programs will be repeated next spring, thanks to the grant funding.

Purdue offers five bachelor of science degrees at the Purdue Technology Center along Charlestown Road: computer graphics; electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering technology; and organizational leadership.

Students attending from area schools included: Borden, Charlestown, Christian Academy, Clarksville, Henryville, Jeffersonville, Lanesville, New Albany, New Washington, Providence, Prosser, Rock Creek and Silver Creek. Students from other Indiana high schools and some Kentucky schools have also attended.

Schaffer noted that the closure of the Sherman-Minton Bridge drastically reduced this year’s attendance from Kentucky. However, the program was still deemed a success because as soon as the program ended four uncommitted high school seniors applied for admission to Purdue. The Purdue College of Technology at New Albany offers the Day in College program every year, and it is open to any interested high school student.