TRAINING STUDENTS FOR INDUSTRY SUCCESS

(Purdue Polytechnic New Albany, Purdue University Director Andrew Takami)

Photo by Tim Girton

There is much to be excited about at Purdue Polytechnic New Albany, Purdue University 

With talented students in many disciplines who have achievements ranging from designing heated work gloves to creating automatic guitar tuners, Purdue Polytechnic New Albany, Purdue University is a quickly-growing force in Southern Indiana area. I recently spoke with Director Andrew Takami, who was passionate about the vast talent of the student body and the campus’ record-breaking enrollment.

What’s your role at Purdue Polytechnic New Albany, Purdue University?

I’m the director of the campus. It’s my responsibility to ensure the success of our operation –there are a lot of components to it – but I do oversee the day-to-day operations. It’s almost been four years since I came to Purdue in my role, and I love it. It’s a wonderful institution. It’s a great place.

Can you give some background on the history of the campus?

The New Albany location, which I now lead, was one of three original sites that the general assembly in the 1960s felt needed to be created for economic development purposes. We grew over time, and then in 1984 a statewide system was created from that same one college at Purdue University.

The New Albany campus now is the largest of all of these campuses or locations of Purdue Polytechnic. We have nine academic disciplines: Computer Graphics Technology, Electrical Engi-neering Technology, Engineering Technology, Industrial Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology (MET), Multidisciplinary Technology, Organizational Leadership, and Supply Chain Management Technology – all four-year bachelor’s programs from Purdue University.

How many students does the campus serve?

Right now, this fall, we had exactly 250 students. We’ve set enrollment records – there are over 30 colleges or universities in the greater Louisville region that are operating to serve the region and citizens on both sides of the river. It’s pretty exciting for us to be able to say that we’ve been growing. We’re now at the highest number of credit hours that we’ve ever had in our history. We’re really excited.

We also serve six counties in Kentucky with reciprocity. The students in these six counties can receive in-state tuition, so that’s really great. We want to continue to impact our region, which we believe includes parts of Kentucky.

What’s the most popular program?

Our most popular area tends to be Applied Engineering, and the MET program is by far the largest. We have over 100 students in that one area alone.

Why should students consider Purdue Polytechnic, New Albany?

The Purdue brand is known across the country and around the world. It’s a very well-respected institute. When students walk across the stage for graduation, most of them have meaningful employment, well over 90 percent. It’s unbelievable. And when we do job fairs like we did this spring, we had 30 or so companies recruiting our 40 graduates, and they didn’t want to just hire one student each – they wanted to hire more than one student.

We have great equipment you can learn from, and you can exercise your skills and get a bachelor’s degree. So, it’s not just a workshop, it’s a lot going on. We’re trying to incorporate more things into the learning environment.

What is your favorite part about what you do?

The older I get, the more I understand the importance of transferring knowledge to the next generation, so I take a lot of pleasure and a lot of pride in connecting dots for students.

At the end of the day, it’s about promoting and accelerating our civilization and growing our civil society so things keep growing and we keep thriving. Eventually, we retire and the next generation takes over. There’s a lot of pride in seeing students all the way through the spectrum, and I’ve got kids of my own now, so I understand when you see them succeed, it’s very rewarding. I can’t emphasize that enough.

Purdue Polytechnic New Albany,Purdue University

3000 Technology Ave. | New Albany |   812.206.8396 | newalbanytech@purdue.edu | www.polytechnic.purdue.edu/new-albany

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