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Cole Professional Academy graduates first class
Cole Professional Academy graduates first class

Be present, be polite and be precise. That's the protocol fifth-grade students learned during the first Cole Professional Academy. The program consisted of monthly sessions to teach students the concepts of professionalism and various soft skills to prepare them for college and to enter the workforce. Topics included cell phone etiquette, how to tie a tie and how to complete a job application.

More than 40 students worked with mentors and earned badges to complete the program. Cole staff, students and their families gathered at Duncan Hall April 24 for a graduation ceremony. The Dean of the Purdue College of Education Maryann Santos and Caterpillar Machine Shop Superintendent Jeff Rosebraugh encouraged the graduates to continue to work hard toward their goals.

"My favorite part of the Cole Professional Academy was that we sat down and it felt like it was a meeting. It felt like I had a job and was important," says student Alex Farley. "The one I will remember most was how to tie a tie."

Student Wyatt Galvin says he enjoyed learning how to bake a cake and fry an egg. "The one thing I will remember most is to pass the salt and pepper together."

"My favorite part of the Cole Professional Academy was probably having different people come and talk with us," says student Amaya Rhine. "The one thing I will remember most is I wouldn't ever have, at this age, filled the car with gas. Now, I know how."