Transforming technology: Creating the Purdue Polytechnic Institute

As pioneers of learn-by-doing and use-inspired research, Purdue is forging a new path for technology education through the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Using innovative learning methods, hands-on experiences, and industry partnerships, the University is preparing students with the skills, knowledge and training required by business and industry today and in the decades to come.

Goals

  • Make the Purdue Polytechnic Institute the University's hub for consumer-oriented technology research.
  • Transform the curriculum to teach the science of demand-driven innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • All Purdue Polytechnic students will engage in transformational experiences that include:
    • Year-long, team-based senior design projects sponsored by industry and supervised by professors and industry representatives.
    • “Study-away” experience — opportunities for meaningful study overseas or in high-impact programs in the United States.
    • Semester/summer internships.
    • Design-lab courses every semester, starting in freshman year.
  • All Polytechnic students will be guaranteed a chance to earn:
    • An innovation certification through the development of a market-ready product or technology, or
    • An entrepreneurship certificate through the development of a business plan.

Accomplishments

  • The College of Technology was officially renamed the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in May 2015.
  • The Purdue Polytechnic Institute delivered its first transformed first-year experience to more than 600 students in fall 2015.
  • New beginner enrollment in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute has grown each of the past four years, including enrollment of a record number of women and underrepresented minority students.
  • The Purdue Bound program, formerly called Science Bound, moved from the Office of the Provost to become part of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in alignment with the missions of both areas.
  • The Purdue Polytechnic Institute received final approval from the Higher Learning Commission for the nation's first-ever competency-based degree program at a public research university, in Transdisciplinary Studies, in spring 2016. This program combines individualized plans of study, close faculty mentoring and a competency-based approach to learning.
  • In fall 2018, Transdisciplinary Studies in Engineering Technology, a second competency-based program, will begin.  
  • More than 90 percent of undergraduate courses in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute now involve significant learn-by-doing lab or lab-like activities, including team project-based learning to prepare students for work in organizations that rely on effective teamwork for success. 
  • To help students be even more career-ready at graduation, all of the schools/departments in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute now require a two-semester senior capstone course or project that is sponsored or recommended by industry or community partners. Additionally, all academic units now require an internship or other workforce-like activity in their plans of study.
  • As of fall 2017, all programs of study require a globalization/cultural immersion experience designed to enrich the perspectives and enhance the abilities of Polytechnic students to succeed in a culturally diverse global marketplace. 
  • In spring 2017, the Purdue Polytechnic Institute piloted a faculty mentor program for second-year students to provide career guidance and professional mentorship. Beginning fall 2017, the program was expanded to third-year Polytechnic students. 
  • To facilitate collaboration with the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District and Purdue Aviation, LLC, the Department of Aviation Technology expanded into the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology in October 2015. 
  • The Purdue Polytechnic High School Indianapolis opened on July 31, 2017, with 162 ninth-grade students. The high school focuses on STEM education for inner-city students and offers successful students the opportunity for direct-path admission to Purdue's undergraduate programs. 
  • In July 2017, the Polytechnic Institute announced that it will provide courses, seminars and workshops at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park as part of a collaboration among Purdue University, the Purdue Research Foundation and WestGate Authority, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane). 
  • The Polytechnic Institute expanded its Project Lead the Way partnership, moving annual core training for K-12 teachers from Kokomo to West Lafayette and providing up to 12 credit hours toward Purdue Polytechnic majors to high school students who successfully complete Project Lead the Way courses.
  • The School of Aviation and Transportation Technology optimized the use of its training aircraft fleet, reducing semester fees for professional flight students by $795 and increasing program capacity by 16 students. Over the next two academic years, this optimization is expected to save students $250,000.

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