Why Ignite?

Meet Ignite Institute: Northern Kentucky’s revolutionary new high-tech high school

Picture this: The year is 2027. A group of local college grads has recently won $40 million in second-round venture funding for their AI web search company. St. Elizabeth is in the process of building its latest hospital and research center in Elsmere, KY. Regional natives Steven Spielberg and George Clooney have jointly announced a Museum & Education Center for the Narrative Arts in Covington. And Jeff Bezos is making an appearance at BB&T Arena to announce Northern Kentucky as the site of a new HQ3 Innovation Center that will employ 40,000 people with salaries exceeding $100,000 each.

orange Lighting Bolt

Why Ignite Works For Students


The Ignite Institute uses the “Care first, then teach” motto so we all may be reminded that caring is more important than teaching. To appreciate our scholars and connect to them in a meaningful way, we must understand them. Ignite educators are prepared and trained specifically to address generational needs. Ignite will be a place of understanding and compassion where scholars will feel supported and free to be themselves. Scholars will learn that failure is part of the learning process, and they will be supported to learn from their mistakes. By making scholars feel they are part of our family, we are teaching them that in-person relationships are important and that they are valued as individuals. Through this method, scholars discover their ability to be great and become even more willing to take chances and work towards their goals. Instead of focusing on data, we focus on the individual. We have learned, through our experience of caring first, that test scores will take care of themselves as long as the scholars have teachers who believe in them. More importantly, our scholars know they have an adult advocate who is supportive and will look out for their best interests.

The Ignite Institute philosophy is that small, personalized learning makes the high school experience motivating. Each area of concentration is equally important in the scholars’ overall educational experience. We believe in the value of authentic teaching using hands-on project-based, inquiry-based, and performance-based education. This method provides scholars a high-quality broad-based education that will serve them well in all phases of life. Before high school graduation, each scholar will have the opportunity to spend 400+ hours with regional companies learning on-the-job skills. This is a key element of the workforce pipeline for the region, as our high school scholars will begin networking with local businesses.                                        

orange Lighting Bolt

Ignite For Parents


Parents want the best for their children. While the future of work remains to a degree, uncertain, parents want their children to graduate with open opportunities and a competitive advantage. Of special concern to our parents in the region is post-second degree attainment and reduced financial debt at graduation. To meet this need Ignite will offer over 20 researched dual-credit classes through our College partners, that allow students to take college courses needed for nearly all majors at the majority of colleges in the country.  In addition, parents will be delighted to see the academic and skill growth of their child showcased in a variety of community experiences. The educators at the Ignite Institute are committed to use the tools and resources at our disposal to give students the confidence they need to achieve their goals. Mentorship, support and encouragement are strategies we will use to uphold the integrity of our program.

Orange Lighting Bolt


Atom Icon

Bio Chemistry

Truck Icon


Tap Touch Icon

Computer Science

Vector Tool Icon


graduate cap


Helmet Icon

Construction Technology

gears icon

Advanced Manufacturing

The Ignite Institute colleges offer scholars the opportunity to earn the same credits required for graduation as their home high school. Scholars have seven different colleges in which to apply. Scholars will attend their specific college at the Ignite Institute for the whole day while taking classes in the following areas: Career, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and World Language. The available colleges for the 2019-20 school year are Allied Health, Biomedical Sciences, Computer Science, Design, Education, Engineering, and Women’s Engineering. Starting in the 2020-21 school year, Construction and Logistics colleges will be available.

Ignite educators called on Northern Kentucky’s foremost industry leaders to help develop a cross-disciplinary curriculum that would both address specific gaps in the regional workforce, and give students the chance to interact comfortably with local business leaders, working hands-on to solve for real-world industry challenges — everything from driverless automobile technology to cancer treatment.

“It’s a unique collaboration that I believe can be a state and national model of regional school districts, business, industry and community working together to improve the way we live and learn,” says Dr. Webb. “There are pockets of excellence across Kentucky and the nation, but not until now have we seen a regional approach with everyone coming together to ensure success.”

secondary Lighting Bolt

Ignite For Industry Partners

The Ignite Institute has developed a unique structure to maximize business integration alongside academic achievement. Every week, scholars have two “production days” where the school schedule at the Ignite Institute gives scholars and teachers flexibility to collaborate with business and industry partners. On these days, regional companies will have the opportunity to work with Ignite Institute scholars. The business partners can customize the manner in which they want to work with scholars, but these interactions will generally fall under one of three categories: business mentorship, real-world projects, and workforce training.

Business Mentorship

The Ignite Institute will always engage local industry to discuss their current workforce needs while inviting businesses in to be a part of the training. This mentorship from companies will be invaluable to Ignite scholars. The business may choose the topics in which they mentor, but these options may include earning industry certifications, skills training, career planning, and many more.

Real-World Projects

Regional industry members will be able to work with our scholars to create real solutions to real problems that those companies face. The Ignite Institute has created the twice-weekly structure to allow sufficient time for scholars and industry partners to work together on real projects that the companies need completed. These real-world experiences give scholars the opportunity to apply their knowledge and critical thinking skills to genuine problems that need to be solved. Depending upon the nature of the project, local businesses may come to the school to continuously work with the scholars, check in occasionally to see what the scholars have created, or facilitate digital meetings with scholars.

Workforce Training

Further business integration will happen towards the end of a scholar’s time at the Ignite Institute. The schedule for seniors at the Ignite Institute is flexible and will be designed individually to personalize the senior year experience for the needs of the scholar. One important component of the senior year is the academic internship. Scholars will have the opportunity to become interns at regional companies to gain valuable insight and experience into their future career. Before high school graduation, each scholar will have the opportunity to spend 400+ hours with regional companies learning on-the-job skills. This is a key element of the workforce pipeline for the region, as our high school scholars will begin networking with local businesses.

Ignite won’t charge tuition, and there’s no entrance exam. There’s also no minimum GPA requirement, even though the curriculum will center on highly advanced coursework patterned after institutions like San Diego’s High Tech High and Plano Academy in Texas. Like those schools, Ignite relies on project-based learning experiences to deliver skills in the STEAM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics — subjects that correlate to high-paying jobs with regional employers like Bosch, Amazon, GE, and others.

Explore Ignite’s State-of-the-Art Campus

Ignite educates people from every age group, socioeconomic background and walk of life. Portions of the Ignite campus will also be dedicated for use by Greater Cincinnati educators and caregivers across the Pre-K to postgraduate spectrum.