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Polytechnic Schools

Polytechnic Schools

What is a Polytechnic School and is it a Good Fit for Me?

A polytechnic school offers specialized secondary and post-secondary education in a specific discipline. The appeal of polytechnic schools is that these programs specialize in developing graduates with applied abilities. These polytechnic schools and programs are related to specific trades including:

  • architecture
  • engineering
  • business and information technology
  • cosmetology
  • early childhood education
  • health care
  • legal professions
  • social services
  • nursing
  • teacher training
  • technical trades and manual arts such as woodworking, welding, etc.

Theory and practical application along with training in a specific profession are hallmarks of an excellent polytechnic school. Students are encouraged to develop knowledge through real-life experience.

Polytechnic Schools and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Polytechnic schools are the original purveyors of a STEM education. While STEM has come to the forefront of education in recent years, polytechnic schools have been around for almost 200 years!

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the oldest polytechnic founded back in 1824.  Even Virginia Tech was founded all the way back in 1872! Starting in the 1800s with education and training in domestic economy (such as home economics, family and consumer sciences) and growing to include the STEM education of the 21st century (including aeronautics and astronautics), polytechnic schools have been offering a fantastic education and a solid career path for students for centuries.

6 Great Polytechnic Colleges

East Coast

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University officially opened in 1872. Fondly known as Virginia Tech, this highly-regarded school takes a hands-on approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities by transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership.

Virginia Tech ranks high on “Best of” lists including:

  • #3 in Best College Campuses in America (Niche)
  • #13 in Top Public Universities in America (Niche)
  • #30 in Top Public Schools (US News)
  • #13 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (US News)

Virginia Tech offers the following veteran and military support programs:

Southeast

Florida Polytechnic University is a very young university, officially founded in 2012. Yet, this young STEM school already ranks high on “Best of” lists including:

  • #1 in Top Public Schools (US News)
  • #3 in Regional Colleges South (US News)
  • #31 in Best Value Schools (US News)

Florida Poly participates in many of the veteran education benefits programs available through the Department of Veteran Affairs including the GI Bill and Purple Heart Waiver.

West Coast

California State Polytechnic University has two great campuses to choose from. California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo, with its “learn-by-doing” philosophy was established in 1901. Cal Poly Pomona followed, opening in 1938. Both Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are part of the 23-campus California State University system. Both schools consistently rank high on “Best of” lists including:

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

  • #2 in Regional Universities West (US News)
  • #1 in Best Colleges for Veterans (US News)
  • #3 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (US News)
  • #1 in Most Innovative Schools (US News)
  • #1 in Top Public Schools (US News)

Cal Poly Pomona

  • #14 in Regional Universities West (US News)
  • #6 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (US News)
  • #3 in Most Innovative Schools (US News)
  • #7 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (US News)
  • #3 in Top Public Schools (US News)

Midwest

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (Iowa State University) was founded in the 1850s. In 1872, Iowa State became the first university in the nation to offer training in domestic economy for college credit. In 1879, the School of Veterinary Science started and ISU became the first state veterinary college in the United States.

Iowa State University offers the following veteran and military support programs:

Oldest in America

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1824, making Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute the first technological university in the English-speaking world. The university offers degrees from five schools: Architecture; Engineering; Science; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and the Lally School of Management.

Rensselaer consistently ranks on “Best of” lists including:

  • #26 in Best Colleges for Veterans (US News)
  • #55 in Best Value Schools (US News)
  • #46 in Most Innovative Schools (US News)
  • #19 in Best Colleges for Information Technology in America (Niche)
  • #25 in Best Colleges for Architecture in America (Niche)
  • #28 in Best Colleges for Computer Science in America (Niche)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a GI Bill approved school, participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and is approved for tuition assistance.

 

About the author

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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.