Press Releases | September 15, 2022

The Mind Trust announces $500,000 Capacity Building Award to support growth of Purdue Polytechnic High Schools network

The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, today announced a $500,000 Capacity Building Award to support Purdue Polytechnic High Schools (PPHS) network in opening a new Indianapolis campus.

“The Mind Trust is thrilled to make this significant investment in Purdue Polytechnic High Schools to ensure more students are able to access their high-quality schools,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “We are proud of the impact PPHS has had on Indianapolis students over the past five years, and we look forward to continuing our support as they grow.”

The $500,000 Capacity Building Award will support PPHS in launching a new campus in Pike Township, located on the northwest side of Indianapolis. PPHS aims to open the new campus next fall for the 2023-2024 school year. It will be the fourth site for PPHS in Indiana, joining the Schweitzer Center at Englewood on the eastside of Indianapolis, the North campus in the Broad Ripple area of Indianapolis, and PPHS South Bend. Both Indianapolis campuses are part of the Indianapolis Public Schools’ (IPS) Innovation School network. 

Scott Bess, Executive Director of PPHS, states that “all of us at PPHS are excited about opening a new campus in Pike Township and serving the students and the community. This Capacity Building Award from The Mind Trust will enable us to hit the ground running during this current school year and to be well prepared to open our doors in August of 2023. The Mind Trust has been a trusted partner of PPHS since we started our first Indianapolis campus, and we deeply appreciate their support for us and for all Indianapolis students over the years.”

PPHS opened their first campus in Indianapolis in 2017, with the goal to build new, K-12 pathways to Purdue University, especially for students who are underserved by traditional high schools and underrepresented in higher education. The schools are free, STEM-focused public high schools founded by Purdue University in partnership with government, community, industry, and academic leaders. 

Students learn core academic principles and skills needed in the 21st century economy through hands-on projects that seek to solve real-world problems. Graduates leave PPHS with college credits and in-demand industry credentials. PPHS students who achieve Purdue’s admission requirements are ensured admission to many of the university’s programs. 

The two Indianapolis PPHS campuses are serving 575 students at the Schweitzer Center at Englewood campus and 275 students at the campus in Broad Ripple for the 2022-2023 school year. Prior to the launch of these two high schools, IPS high schools were averaging 18 students per year who enrolled at Purdue West Lafayette. The first two graduating classes from PPHS have seen 40 (class of 2021) and 47 (class of 2022) students accepted to Purdue University. 

In 2022, PPHS students achieved college-ready scores on the math and reading/writing sections of the SAT at higher rates than the IPS average. The two Indianapolis campuses also achieved higher college-ready scores on the math and reading/writing sections of the 2022 SAT than Pike High School. 

The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 45 public schools in Indianapolis through Capacity Building Awards and School Fellowships. In 2022, The Mind Trust has awarded $2.4 million in Capacity Building Awards to four high-quality charter school networks to help more than 1,600 students access a great school.