The Pursuit Institute, which was launched in June 2021 as the Hamilton County Center for Career Achievement, has been designated as an independent Career and Technical Education (CTE) district recognized by the State of Indiana. This designation will allow The Pursuit Institute and the school districts it serves to receive up to $500,000 annually in federal Perkins funding.
Five Hamilton County public school corporations have passed votes to formally join The Pursuit Institute as their CTE district. By forgoing a brick-and-mortar building and instead coordinating programs hosted directly by education, industry, and community partners, programming offered within the new district will be scalable and serve a higher percentage of the total student population than traditional centralized locations are able to serve.
“This community is a place where great things happen and that is because we invest in people,” stated County Councilor Steven Nation, “this new CTE district is an example of how a spirit of collaboration can further improve opportunities available to students for generations to come.”
“Career and technical education (CTE) should be afforded to all students, regardless of their post-high school plans. CTE is for students who want the skills and credentials to enter the world of work, but it is also designed for students who plan to pursue an associates or bachelors degree after high school. By collaborating across our county, we are providing new opportunities for all students, and providing Hamilton County with the education and training pipelines that will continue to drive our economy,” Dr. Paul Kaiser, Superintendent of Westfield Washington Schools said.
The new Pursuit Institute name was adopted after a series of focus groups and engagement sessions with community leaders, employers, students, parents and teachers.
Carrie Lively, Executive Director of The Pursuit Institute shared, “the collaboration between education and industry that is taking place in Hamilton County is unique. This innovative approach is the catalyst for developing state of the art programming and educational opportunities. What makes this even better, is that we are affording these opportunities to thousands of students within the county, ensuring equitable access to education, regardless of where students reside.”
Lively also wants to support educators, students and parents in understanding the importance of engaging in CTE before leaving high school. The Pursuit Institute will create opportunities for students through collaborative partnerships, and also help parents, students, and educators to realize the role that CTE plays in the education of all students. The school districts engaged are Carmel, Hamilton Heights, Noblesville, Sheridan and Westfield.