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The Office of the Vice Provost for Engagement is working to create mutually beneficial partnerships between Purdue and Indiana businesses, industry, agriculture, education, and government. The goal is to ensure that the state realizes the maximum possible advantages from Purdue's many resources. The office works directly with Indiana's leaders, business community, and citizens to find ways for Purdue to expand economic opportunities in the state. The following are examples of the many ways in which the Engagement efforts work to improve the quality of life for Indiana's people.

Economic Development

  • Technical Assistance Program — supports Indiana companies by making a team of faculty, staff, and students available for free, short-term assistance with product development, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and management issues. TAP works with over 400 companies each year and has completed more than 5,700 assistance projects to date. It also has created over 1,500 Indiana jobs and saved more than 2,500 additional jobs since the program's inception in 1986.

  • Center for Advanced Manufacturing — bridges the basic academic research with specific industrial needs to enhance both the understanding and application of manufacturing issues in Indiana. The center serves as the central point of contact at Purdue University on a wide range of manufacturing issues, linking existing and emerging businesses with researchers on campus and helps to attract new businesses to Indiana, creating more opportunities for Hoosiers.

  • Center for Regional Development — conducts applied research and analysis and nurtures partnerships that cut across jurisdictional boundaries. Services include: creating regional profiles of economic, demographic, and social characteristics; conducting survey research and analysis; benchmarking; facilitating discussions of regional issues; organizing and facilitating regional initiatives; and developing regional leadership.

  • Purdue Research Park — is home to the largest university-affiliated, state-of-the-art business incubator in the nation and is Indiana's first certified technology park. Life sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing ventures make up the majority of the more than 100 businesses located on the park's 591 acres in West Lafayette, Indiana.

  • Certified Technology Parks — encourage the location of high-technology businesses within areas identified by local redevelopment commissions. This, in turn, stimulates job creation.

  • Office of Technology Commercialization — administered by the Purdue Research Foundation, is responsible for the commercialization of intellectual property developed by Purdue and supports many of the start-up companies that are based on Purdue technology.

Educational Enhancement

  • Science Bound — is a partnership among Purdue, the Indianapolis Public Schools, and the Indianapolis business community. It provides eligible students an opportunity to earn a full-tuition scholarship to Purdue to study an agriculture, engineering, science, or technology-related career. The five-year program, which started with 60 middle school students, has grown to more than 160 middle and high school students. The students participate in science and engineering-related, after-school activities, field trips, and summer camps to enrich their academic experience.

  • National Youth Sports Program — offers five weeks of swimming, tennis, judo, and volleyball lessons, in addition to physical fitness, writing, computer, and health education classes each summer to more than 400 eligible children, ages 10-16, from throughout Tippecanoe County. The children also receive free health, speech, and hearing screenings. Supported by a federal grant, the program stresses social responsibility and having a healthy self-esteem. Special events such as a family night, career day, and service learning also are incorporated into the program, which is administered by more than 200 colleges and universities throughout the United States.

  • Statewide Technology Program — enables students to earn associate and bachelor’s degrees at seven locations across the state in fields such as aviation administration technology, engineering technology, computer technology, computer graphics, industry technology, and organizational leadership and supervision.

  • Indiana 4-H Youth Program — uses resources from the USDA, Purdue, and other land-grant universities to conduct hands-on educational programs for children from 3rd to 12th grade. Led by volunteers under the direction of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H is the largest youth-serving organization in the country. It sponsors fairs and other programs in both urban and rural settings that help children throughout Indiana develop leadership, citizenship, communication, and decision-making skills that can be applied throughout a lifetime.

  • Academic Competitions — administered by the Indiana Association of School Principals and sponsored by Purdue. The University’s three-year, $300,000 commitment provides funding for spelling and math competitions involving teams of elementary, middle-school and high-school students; “Super Bowls” in which teams of middle- and high-school students compete in English, math, science, fine arts, and social studies categories; and a statewide academic decathlon in which teams of high school students compete through tests, essays, speeches, and interviews to advance to a national competition. In addition to providing funding, Purdue assists with question writing, presenting awards, and providing promotional and technical assistance.

  • Project Lead the Way — is a pre-engineering/engineering technology program for high school students. It offers a four-year sequence of technology education courses which, when combined with college preparatory mathematics and science courses in high school, introduces students to the discipline of engineering and engineering technology prior to entering college. Sponsored in part by Purdue, Project Lead the Way also provides a hands-on, middle-level technology education program. This exploratory curriculum focuses on design, electronics, automation, and engineering mechanics. Project Lead the Way is offered in more than 1,000 schools in 41 states from Maine to California. With 92 Indiana schools participating, Indiana is second only to New York in the number of schools enrolled. The Department of Industrial Technology at Purdue accepts Project Lead the Way class credits.

  • Indiana Council for Economic Education — is a program based at Purdue University and oversees 13 economics education centers, which, in turn, offer workshops and programming for teachers interested in learning how to fold basic economic concepts into their classroom curriculum. The ICEE provides tangible support to teachers by conducting graduate-credit workshops featuring business, labor, and agricultural leaders.

  • K-12 Science Outreach Programs — works with pre-college students and teachers to increase interest and achievement in science and mathematics. Science K-12 Outreach offers professional development for teachers, such as Inquiry Science workshops and Technology Integration in the Classroom. It also offers student programs such as Focus on Science and Physics on the Road that demonstrate scientific and mathematic principles in fun and exciting ways. More than 2,400 teachers and 500,000 students throughout Indiana have benefited from Science K-12 Outreach activities.

Service Learning

  • EPICS — Engineering Projects in Community Service, Purdue’s largest service learning program, enables engineering students to weave volunteerism into their classroom experience. Teams of undergraduates earn academic credit for multiyear, multidisciplinary projects that solve engineering- and technology-based problems for community service and educational organizations. Currently, the engineering-centered program involves approximately 20 different departments, 300 students, and 24 teams working on projects ranging from homelessness prevention to environmental protection to creating toys for children with disabilities. Programs based on the Purdue model are operating at 20 other universities in the United States. Many of these programs work with Habitat for Humanity.

  • The Community Service Student Grant Program — provides grants to Purdue students or student organizations for community service projects.

  • Boiler Volunteer Network — links students, staff, and faculty with volunteer opportunities at more than 30 agencies throughout Lafayette and West Lafayette. Community Action Days take place monthly.

  • Statistics in the Community (STATCOM) — is a volunteer community outreach organization directed and staffed by graduate students within the Department of Statistics. It offers free professional consulting services to governmental and non-profit groups in the Lafayette-West Lafayette community. Potential clients include schools, government agencies, health centers, homeless shelters, advocacy groups, libraries, and adult learning centers, to name a few organizations. Assistance is available on a wide variety of statistical issues including using data to improve decision making processes, designing and analyzing surveys or experiments, identifying and visualizing trends and associations in data, making predictions and projections, and finding meaningful information when large amounts of data are available.

  • Speakers Bureau — arranges speaking engagements for more than 700 Purdue faculty and staff. Speakers can address a wide range of subjects, ranging from economic development and technology transfer to diversity, aging, or leadership. While speakers themselves may charge a fee, the services of the Speakers Bureau are provided free of charge.

Source: Office of Engagement

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