WHS Student Chandler Luedke Gains Real-world Experience Through Two Ivy Tech Programs
Writer / Julie Young
Chandler Luedke is the kind of guy who likes to work with his hands. As a kid, he could often be found putting together models, experimenting with science projects or tinkering with the family lawn mower. So it came as no surprise that when it was time to choose some of his elective courses, the Westfield High School student sought out classes that played to those interests.
“I took the Ivy Tech Construction class last year as a junior and this year, I’m taking the Automotive Technology Course,” he says. “Not only are they the kinds of classes that might benefit me in my future career, but they are the kinds of everyday life skills that everyone can use.”
Chandler is the first Westfield High School student to participate in both programs, which are housed in the old Noblesville High School Building and according to his instructor, it’s an opportunity that the senior has not taken for granted.
“These are real college courses with an intense curriculum that is more challenging than traditional high school level courses,” Automotive Technology Center associate professor Keith M. Huettl MA, BS, AAS says. “Students who successfully complete them will earn six credits toward the Associates Degree of Applied Science at Ivy Tech or can transfer those credits to any four-year institution in the state and most universities across the country.”
In order to take part in Ivy Tech’s dual credit programs, Chandler had to be on track to receive the core credits necessary for graduation along with a 2.5 GPA – the same as any other Ivy Tech student.
“I really enjoyed seeing what the college atmosphere was like,” Chandler says. “I got to know what the workload was like and meet kids who go to other schools so my friendships were broadened out a bit. I also enjoyed having Mr. Huettl as an instructor. He’s a very smart man who operates his automotive tech class like a science lab. There’s not a lot of homework, but there is a lot of practical application.”
Chandler’s passion for hands-on learning was inspired in part by his father Michael who taught him the importance of self-reliance. He says he watched his dad work on his 1973 Plymouth Duster and realized there was a lot of pride in doing something yourself rather than paying someone else to do it for you.
“There’s a lot of trial and error to it, but in the end, it’s worth the effort,” he says.
After graduation, Chandler will attend Western Kentucky University where he plans to major in construction management. While he won’t design the buildings he helps create the way architects do, he will be responsible for making sure the crews are organized, that best practices are followed and that the end result is completed on time and on budget.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” he says. “It’s not manual labor but a management job that requires you to understand the practical aspects of the construction industry.”
Chandler says he hopes other Westfield students consider participating in Ivy Tech’s partnership programs, but make no mistake, they are no easy A.
“Dual credit courses are AP courses and they are a lot harder than you think,” he says. “Still the stuff you learn can be really beneficial to your future so they are definitely worth it.”
The Westfield Student Spotlight is sponsored by Wittler Orthodontics.