2023 Pursuit Institute Programs Update


The Pursuit Institute (TPI) has been actively visiting our programs, engaging with students and partners and observing our programs in action. Over the past two months, allsixteen of our programs were visited. According to Community Experience Coordinator for The Pursuit Institute, Cindy Kicinski, “It was an incredible experience to observe students in real-world career settings as they gained valuable skills, connected academics to the real world of work and put into practice what they were learning.” It’s great to see that TPI students are not the only ones benefiting from these programs, but that employer partners are also finding value in having students work at their companies and be part of their teams. Our students are helping to meet new demands in today’s rapidly changing workplace while becoming a talent pipeline of skilled and credentialed workers of the future.

Siminda Rasnake, Clinic Manager and Lead Technician at Center for Sight, expressed her gratitude toward The Pursuit Institute (TPI) for providing the opportunity to introduce the upcoming workforce to the industry. “Certified Ophthalmic Technicians have been on a steady decline for the past decade, and thanks to The Pursuit Institute partnership we will have the opportunity to change the course of our industry and stop this decline,” said Siminda. Students in the TPI Ophthalmology program work alongside doctors and technicians, providing preliminary work-ups for patients, checking vision and completing exams. During the on-site observation, a student was working on giving an eye exam, documenting vision information, ordering medical tests and capturing images of the eye. Instructors provided step by step instruction and valuable feedback to the students as they learn.

During our visit to the Ed Professions program, we had the opportunity to observe three different instructor-lead, online courses that are taught in partnership with Ball State University Teachers College. Afterward, we visited the Boys and Girls Club, where students put into practice what they learned in their BSU classes. . In their online course, students were sharing their personal teaching philosophies with the class. At Boys and Girls club, students modeled these philosophies while working one-on-one with the children in the after-school program. TPI students provided homework help, assisted children with picking out a book from the library and then read the book together.  They also helped get the day’s activities off to great start. Mackenna, a Noblesville High School student said “My apprenticeship experience with The Pursuit Institute has provided me with a broader perspective on my profession as a teacher. It’s given me a sense of confidence to take charge of my education and my future career. As a junior and senior in high school I’ve had greater exposure to my field of study and I’m experiencing opportunities typically reserved for college learning that have allowed me to jump-start my career before graduating.     

During our visit to Reynolds Farm Equipment, where students work on setting up new lawn mowers, combines and equipment, we had the opportunity to tour the shop and observe what a typical day looks like there for TPI students. The students learn shop safety, customer relations and engine technology/mechanics. They also have the opportunity to shadow a variety of roles at Reynolds and even do on-site repairs to equipment and machinery in the fields on local farms. According to Christy Kirtley, Youth Development Recruitment at Reynolds Farm Equipment, Inc., “The students are doing great in The Pursuit Institute’s Ag Engineering program at Reynolds Farm Equipment. They are motivated, eager and excited to learn.” Braxton, a Sheridan High School student in the program said “I like being in the shop and getting to do stuff hands-on. I’m not just told about stuff, but I actually get to do stuff while learning and you learn from your mistakes. I get feedback from mentors while working and can make changes the next time.”

The Pursuit Institute (TPI) is revolutionizing the Hamilton County workforce by partnering with schools, students, families, and business partners to prepare students to fill employment gaps and provide workforce ready employees for the future. TPI’s innovative and collaborative approach is a catalyst for developing state-of-the-art opportunities and talent pipelines that will continue to drive our economy. 


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