Kokomo Experience and You: Becoming a campus of choice
Growth. Opportunities. Experiences.
The Kokomo Experience and You (KEY) program continued to grow in its third year, with more opportunities for travel, research, and experiential learning opportunities for all students. The KEY program is unique to IU Kokomo, and is increasingly making us a campus of choice in north central Indiana.
The benefits begin before the start of the fall semester, as incoming freshmen participate in the KEY Summer Institute. The program prepares them to transition successfully from high school to college, with information about using time effectively, using the Canvas management system, services and resources available on campus, note taking, and many other skills.
Many of the 100 students who attended appreciated the chance to find where their classes were before the start of the semester, as well as to make friends and know somebody on the first day, and to get to know faculty members.
They also earned a student worker credential, which gives them an edge on securing one of the highly sought campus jobs.
In addition to time on campus, the Key Summer Institute also includes field trips to the Indiana State Police crime lab or Newfields (formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art), as well as downtown Kokomo, to get familiar with their new surroundings.
An important component of the KEY program is travel, to create an environment of discovery and curiosity. There were 74 trips during the 2018-2019 academic year, each involving dozens of students. Many of the trips are free, with others offered at low cost, so that finances don’t prevent students from taking advantage of these opportunities.
Criminal justice students learned about the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and toured famous crime sites in Chicago, including the alley where John Dillinger died trying to escape federal agents in 1934.
In the School of Sciences, students gained a greater appreciation and knowledge of the wildlife in their own back yard, observing the sandhill crane migration at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, touring a raptor rehabilitation center in Nashville, assisting in netting and banding saw-whet owls at the Indiana Dunes, and viewing numerous bird species at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.
Business, criminal justice, hospitality, and sociology students gained a backstage look at how Disney magic happens during a five-day visit to Walt Disney World, Orlando. They learned how resort and park staff create a seamless experience, and manage security, for the hundreds of thousands of people in their parks each day, while also consulting about the many career opportunities in the company.
Accounting students met professionals at OneAmerica, the Indiana CPA Society, and Katz, Sapper & Miller LLP in Indianapolis, with the chance to ask questions and see what skills they need to succeed in the field.