KEY Academy brings lifelong learning to the community: Indiana University Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. What do baseball and religion have in common? What exactly do school psychologists do – and do I want to be one? How can I use coaching strategies in my work to support my colleagues?

In a new lifelong learning program at Kokomo Indiana University, community members can learn these questions and much more.

While not a typical lifelong learning experience, KEY Academy includes a wide range of experiences, such as field trips, opportunities for shadow professionals, expert guest lectures, and more.

“We want community members to give up their studies, just as our students do in KEY,” said IU Deputy Chancellor Mark Canadian.

Canada partnered with IU Kokomo faculty and staff in 2016 to launch KEY (“The Kokomo Experience and You”). This pilot initiative provided hundreds of students with the opportunity to collaborate on research projects and the community, presenting their work at conferences. engage in simulations and tournaments and travel to educational destinations such as Silicon Valley, Disney World, the United Nations and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Now Canada and her colleagues are focused on a new set of recreational experiences for community members. The duration and formats will vary, but the typical practice involves 4-6 meetings, which are usually held in person over a period of one or two months (e.g., on a Wednesday in June). All typically involve multiple experiences, such as simulation, retreat, and field trips. The IU Kokomo faculty develops experiences, gives lectures, and leads tours, vacations, and more.

In “Religion and Baseball. . . Or “The Religion of Baseball,” for example, the internationally recognized theologian Eric Bain-Selbo draws on his own and others ’research to study the religious aspects of American entertainment. This experience ends on a trip to Wrigley Field – a kind of shrine – for the Cubs game.

“Sport is one of the most visible aspects of modern culture,” said Bain-Selbo, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “But it’s not just a form of entertainment or business or just entertainment, but it has a religious aspect. We learn this dimension by focusing on religion and baseball or maybe more accurately on the religion of baseball.”

Experiences like this allow participants to be intellectually motivated (and entertained) while others are designed to help participants learn the professions they want to enter.

“Changing careers or moving to another role in one profession can be a time of both excitement and uncertainty,” said Leah Nellis, dean of the School of Education. “Seeing and hearing an expert in practice will help us learn about one area of ​​the profession and make confident decisions about future plans while at the same time building a network of partners and support resources.”

Nellis, a national leader in the field of school psychology, is designing a comprehensive experiment that has the potential to overshadow school psychologists, hear from other experts, and explore the school of secondary education.

“When we start this program, we welcome the ideas of community members. We want to meet their needs both mentally and professionally, ”said Canada.

For more information on Canada please email

Studying at Indiana University Kokomo is KEY.

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