Special Programs

Kokomo Experience and YOU Program

The KEY to Your Future 

Indiana University Kokomo is the home of the KEY (“Kokomo Experience and You”), a four-year experiential-learning program designed to transform students’ professional, personal, and civic lives.  We call it “the best four years of your life—so far.” 

The Experience of a Lifetime—for a Lifetime of Experience 

Employers agree there is no substitute for experience.  So do our students.  Experience—seeing, feeling, and especially doing—teaches crucial knowledge and skills, but it also does something more.  Experience makes learning come alive.  It builds connections and confidence.  It makes education engaging, relevant, and fun.   

“Being in an intimate space with intelligent, artistic people was invigorating.  One of the few times I felt like I deserved to be where I was and I belonged there.” 
-New Media, Art, and Technology student on retreat at Camp Tecumseh 
“I have always been nervous around my classmates, but I’m not anymore.  I learned many valuable things, such as I am a leader and a captain.” 
-Education student on retreat at Bradford Woods 
“It was really awesome to hear that someone from Kokomo was actually doing this, and made the goals we set seem more reachable and attainable.” 
-Sociology student on trip to Graduate Expo in Indianapolis 
 “The trip to Chicago was incredible.  We got to connect with past IU alumni and ask them questions about their profession and how they got there.  They gave me so much advice that I never thought about before the trip.” 
-Communication student, Sophomore Sojourn to Chicago 
“I learned so much about some of my classmates and I feel more at home.” 
-Education student on retreat at Bradford Woods 


Education is What We Do. 

Experience is at the heart of the KEY.  It comes in a variety of forms, depending on a student’s major.  Our Communication students have traveled to Chicago, where they heard from IU alumni already succeeding in the world of public relations, toured WBEZ studios and Wrigley Field, and met professionals at Ketchum, one of the world’s leading PR firms.  Students majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management spent two days in Louisville studying Churchill Downs and other attractions Criminal Justice students have toured Bankers Life Fieldhouse with a CJ professional, who discussed security measures and strategies.  Students in Medical Imaging Technology regularly visit a trade show in Chicago, where they interview vendors about equipment.  Hundreds of students in Nursing, Sciencesand Health Sciences have attended conferences, and many have presented their own research.  Many students exercise their creative muscles in retreats, where they immersed themselves in their art or writing, and publish their work in our Field magazine Psychology students have studied equine therapy (and met the horse therapists in “person”).  Countless other experiences include internships and externships, participation in national and international business competitions, design projects for real clients, and trips to Google offices and the Field Museum in Chicago, the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, Shaker Village in Kentucky, an international grocery in Indianapolis, and other sites where students study computing, biology, history, nutrition, and other subjects up close and personal with their classmates, teachers, alumni, and professionals in the field. 

Students participate in all of these experiences at little or no additional cost to them.  Thanks to scholarships, many also can afford to travel to other parts of the world, including Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Guatemala, South Korea, and Yellowstone National Park. 

A Lifetime of Success 

Based on outcomes that both employers and educators value, the KEY prepares students for a lifetime of success.  Through a wide variety of hands-on experiencesour students learn to apply and integrate their knowledge and skills, collaborate with others, take initiative, and develop a mindset for success and service.  Along the way, they make important connections with classmates, faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the larger community while developing the confidence to become their best selves.   

Fulfilling the Promise 

The KEY is IU Kokomo’s own special way of realizing Indiana University’s mission of “Fulfilling the Promise.”  Our promise to students is simple and heartfelt: “Get ready to love learning, graduate on time, land a good job, and start changing the world.  You are the KEY.” 

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