Kokomo Experience and You

The IU Kokomo Experience and You: It’s your future, so we're giving you the KEY.

You've heard there’s no substitute for experience. Employers would agree. They value experience highly when they hire college students. Besides, learning by doing—creating, collaborating, traveling, and leading—is the best way to learn.

The trip to Chicago was incredible. We got to connect with past IU alumni and ask them questions about their profession and how they got there. They gave me so much advice that I never thought about before the trip.

Communication student, Sophomore Sojourn to Chicago

When you study at IU Kokomo, you enjoy tons of experiences, the kinds that both employers and students love. We care about your future, so we give you the KEY (“Kokomo Experience and You”): a four-year program of experiential education. Depending on your major, you might design a social media campaign for a community agency, help children in Guatemala, study fossils at the Field Museum in Chicago, present your research at a national conference, pick up career advice from professionals in Chicago, or immerse yourself in your art or writing in a retreat away from campus. The world is your classroom!

Prepare to love learning, graduate on time, land a good job, and start changing the world. You have the KEY.

IU Kokomo Experience and You

Key Experiences

Key Experiences

Read about our KEY trips

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School of Education Retreat to Bradford Woods - 2018

Watch the School of Education Retreat to Bradford Woods Video with Audio Description

Description of the video:

Transcript for the School of Education Retreat to Bradford Woods Video

The camera shows a sequence of two camp counselors communicating about a student about to ride a zip line.

The camera shows the back of a man wearing a helmet on a fenced-in wooden platform high in the trees. He yells the command, “Brake Set?”

The camera shows the profile of a woman wearing a helmet holding on to a rope that is attached to a zipline cable. The woman answers, “Brake Set!” The screen displays the IU Kokomo logo and text that reads “School of Education Retreat, Bradford Woods”

Music starts to slowly build.

A student is now shown on the wooden platform high in the trees wearing a t-shirt that says “I turned the KEY.” She also wears a safety harness attached to a zipline and helmet. There are other students behind her wearing the same shirt. A man yells another command, “Zip clear?” as a voice in the background yells “zippidee-do-da!” The man then yells, “zipping!”

The camera circles around to show the girl about to step off the platform as the man says, “Alright, you’re ready to go.”

The screen now displays the IU Kokomo logo and a KEY logo that says, “KEY, the Kokomo experience and you.”

The rock music picks up as the student leaps off the platform and screams, “I Turned the KEY!”

The camera then rotates three hundred sixty degrees showing an entire forest floor and trees all around her and it turns back to her smiling face with the wind blowing in her hair.

The student begins to speak.

“It was different than being in the classroom because I felt like people were much more open. They were much more open to doing the activities that were there. And we’re with all the same people that we are with in the classrooms, but in the classrooms we are all separated by our different tables or our different seats and we don’t really talk to them as much because you’re listening to your lectures or doing assignments. So to be out in the open and have an area to interact with your classmates was really fun.”

As she speaks video images of students learning with a card game are shown as a camera spins three hundred sixty degrees to show all sitting around the table.

As she finishes speaking the scene changes to a couple students working together, joined at the hands, walking on individual tightropes. One says “your hands are sweaty” and the other replies “I’m sorry” as the students are laughing. There are more students standing on the ground around them to help if they start to fall.

Another student begins to speak and as he speaks you can hear other students ziplining.

“This trip means to me that I got to, like, go out more. Which is really cool. I already on the bus started talking to people, which is nice because I don’t get to go out and socialize often. So this has definitely been cool for me for that. And just like, taking in the atmosphere of the woods and the awesome people around me. It’s been fantastic so far.”

The scene changes to a group of students standing in a circle playing a game of “Have you ever?”

The voice of a counselor is heard asking, “Have you ever ridden a horse before?” As the camera turns in a three hundred sixty degree motion, the participants run to the middle, laughing, and perform a chant with hand motions, “Clap clap, clap clap, Oh yeah!”

A new student dressed in zipline gear begins to speak.

“I think is a really cool idea just getting people out away from the classroom getting new experiences. Learning new things. And just overall having a good time and getting to know people. It’s really… I think it’s a good part of college to get that experience.”

As he is talking the scene shifts to a student standing on a picnic table with her back turned to other students as she prepares to fall backwards into their arms. She asks, “Spotters ready?” The spotters reply, “ready!” She declares she is “Ready to fall.” Spotters reply, “Fall on.” She declares, “Falling.” The camera shows her as she falls into their arms and everyone breathes a sigh of relief when they catch her. 

A student speaks.

“I would definitely recommend the KEY stuff if anyone wants to do it. This has been fantastic so far and I don’t regret a single moment of it.”

The camera now shows a different scene where a group of students are standing together with one male student leading a chant, “what are we?” The students reply, “We’re tired!” The leader then asks, “What do we do?” The students respond, “Sleep!” Collective the students place their “sleeping hands” against the side of their faces and tilt their heads in a motion to pretend they are sleeping then they all perform an audible snore and laugh.

The final scene shows the students walking in a group through the woods as the rock music begins to fade out.

A final title screen pops up with the IU Logo that also reads,

Indiana University Kokomo

Fulfilling the Promise


KEY Experience: Friendships that Never Fade

Students step back in time, explore utopias

Students explore utopias

Imagine living in an ideal world — one in which all people are equal, and united around a common vision. One Indiana University Kokomo class stepped back in time, visiting sites of two 19th century utopian communities, to see for themselves what that experience might have been like. Donna McLean, associate professor of communication arts, led the honors colloquium, studying historical utopian societies, intentional communities established mostly in the 1800s, with the goal of creating a perfect world, free from crime, poverty, and violence.

Step back in time to learn more

Art students unplug during nature retreat

NMAT camp

Hands covered in dirt, Brittnee Collins flicks open a pocket knife and begins whittling the end of a stick into a sharp point. As rain drizzles on her, she stands back, examining the fortress-like rectangle she’s built in the mud, before jamming the sharpened end of the stick into place. “The story in my head is getting lengthy,” she said, stepping a few steps away to consider her progress.

Learn more about the nature retreat

Students explore career options in the Windy City


Indiana University Kokomo communications students were “blown away” by the job possibilities in Chicago. During two days in the Windy City, 40 of them explored their options, meeting with professionals in advertising, public relations, sports operations, radio performance and production, and theater. It was an eye-opening experience for Sarah Shutt.

More about the Windy City visit

Video - IU Kokomo: The Yellowstone Field Experience - 2018

Yellowstone National Park

Students traveled to Yellowstone National Park to get a hands-on experience in the fields of geology and biology.

More about the Yellowstone trip