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Engagement - West Lafayette Campus

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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 and globally. The following are examples of the many ways in which Purdue Engagement efforts work to improve the quality of life for Indiana’s people.

Economic Development

  • Technical Assistance Program - serves Indiana businesses with technical assistance, productivity improvement, advanced manufacturing training, energy reduction, and green process implementation; serves hospitals, pharmacies, and healthcare providers with safety, quality, and performance improvement, and serves the public health system with pandemic event planning and quality improvement training. The program served 703 employers in 86 counties in 2008-09. These employers reported $84 million in increased or retained sales, $13 million in cost savings, $16 million in capital investments and 1,006 jobs created or retained.

  • Center for Advanced Manufacturing - facilitates research-based collaborations with Indiana, national, and multinational manufacturers interested in advancing their people, products, or processes.  The center serves as the central point of contact at Purdue University, providing industry with a variety of engagement and research options to meet the scheduling and technical needs of each business.  The center also seeks to engage and inform manufacturers via speaking engagements and their manufacturing summit series.

  • 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 145 businesses located on the park's 725 acres in West Lafayette, IN.

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

  • Northeast Indiana Engagement Office - is a partnership between the regional business community and three universities, IPFW, Purdue University and Indiana University. The mission is to match IPFW, Purdue and Indiana University resources, expertise and intellectual property to the regional needs of northeast Indiana to enhance economic development and improve the quality of life for people in the region.

P-12 Education

  • Indiana STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Resource Network - is an unprecedented partnership of public and private higher education institutions, K-12 schools, business, and government.  A collaboration that includes 18 institutions of higher education in 10 regions throughout Indiana. I-STEM works to support K–12 teachers and leaders working to implement high academic standards towards STEM literacy for all students.  It also provides Indiana education leaders with new knowledge about teaching and learning.  The I-STEM vision for Indiana is to be a national leader in student academic achievement in STEM disciplines creating the highest quality workforce. Purdue is the managing partner.

  • Science Bound (SB) - 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 200 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.  In the Fall of 2009 there were 11 SB freshmen, 33 SB sophomores and 19 SB juniors at Purdue.

  • 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, this exploratory curriculum focuses on design, electronics, automation and engineering mechanics. Project Lead the Way is offered in more than 3,000 schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia.  With 300 Indiana schools participating, Indiana boasts the highest number of schools enrolled. The Department of Industrial Technology at Purdue accepts Project Lead the Way class credits.
  • College of Science K-12 Outreach Progams - work 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 7,000 teachers and 580,000 students throughout Indiana have benefited from Science K-12 Outreach activities.
  • Indiana Council for Economic Education - is a state-wide program based at Purdue University (  An affiliate of the National Council on Economic Education, ICEE oversees 11 University Centers, which offer workshops and programming for K-12 teachers interested in learning how to integrate basic economic concepts into their classroom curriculum.  ICEE provides tangible support to teachers by providing them with curriculum materials and offering graduate-credit and other workshops featuring business, labor and agricultural leaders.
  • Statewide Technology Program - enables students to earn associate and bachelor's degrees at seven locations across the state in fields such as aviation management, engineering technology, computer technology, computer graphics, industrial 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 are sponsored by Purdue.  The University’s 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, presentingawards and providing promotional and technical assistance.
  • Purdue Athletes Life Success Program (PALS) - has been at Purdue since 2002.  In the Summer of 2008 the program had a new name and new partnership with the Brees Dream Foundation and Purdue Employee Federal Credit Union.  PALS provide sports, fitness, and health instruction to area youth ages 10-16, from throughout Tippecanoe County.  The children also receive free health, speech and hearing screenings.  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.

Service Learning and Community-based Experiential 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.  In 2008, the engineering-centered program involved students from 39 different majors that worked with 32 local community partners. Programs based on the Purdue model are operating at 20 other universities in the United States.
  • Purdue Liberal Arts Community Engagement (PLACE) is an engagement effort launched in the College of Liberal Arts that offers a variety of opportunities for faculty in Liberal Arts to bring their expertise and knowledge to the wider community and to work collaboratively across disciplines and with community leaders to address complex issues in the community.  Place supports three overlapping and mutually reinforcing programs—Building Community, Public Square Forum, and Individual Engagement.  Each program brings the expertise of Liberal Arts scholars and artists to bear on significant challenges to public life and fosters synergy among Discovery, Learning, Engagement, and Civic Responsibility.  Through Building Community, faculty and students study community issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives and share research findings twice a year with the Community Advisory Board.  Public Square Forum consists of a series of events focused on one subject to enrich public understanding of an issue of concern.  Individual Engagement extends expertise of faculty to Indiana’s citizens through public presentations, performances, and workshops.
  • The Community Service Student Grant Program - provides grants to Purdue students or student organizations for community service student-learning projects.  In 2008, there were over 190 student grant projects awarded across campus.
  • Boiler Volunteer Network - links students, staff and faculty with volunteer opportunities to connect with community service projects throughout Lafayette and West Lafayette.
  • 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. 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 880 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.

Advance Quality of Life for all Constituents

  • Statewide Technology Program - enables students to earn associate and bachelor's degrees at seven locations across the state in fields such as aviation management, engineering technology, computer technology, computer graphics, industrial technology and organizational leadership and supervision.
  • Purdue University Continuing Education- provides an extensive array of continuing education, professional development, and workforce development opportunities. Working together with faculty from a wide range of academic disciplines, CE offers credit and noncredit classes throughout the year, including evenings and weekend, on the West Lafayette campus, at off-campus locations throughout the state, and online on demand to students around the world.

    International Engagement

    • Partnership with Moi University in Kenya - Purdue’s College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences has been involved with Moi University in Kenya for a number of years. Now, however, we are enlarging and deepening Purdue’s connections with Moi. We are adding Purdue’s expertise in agriculture and water resources to the work already being done by IUPUI and IU, so that all three of Indiana’s flagship universities will now be collaborating in a long-term partnership with Kenya. Through this engagement, we hope to provide Purdue faculty and students with meaningful opportunities to work with Kenyan communities for mutual benefit.

    • Faculty Development in China Program: supported by an endowment by Ms. Anna Pao Sohmen, a Purdue Alumnae, to familiarize Purdue faculty and staff with key institutions, cities and regions in China and with the objective of developing new collaborative research, student and faculty exchange, and student recruitment activities.  As a direct result of the FDIC program three study-abroad programs were created for Summer 2008 and one in Summer 2009.  This program supports visits by faculty from Ningbo University and Harbin Institute of Technology.  Since 2006, eight faculty have visited Purdue to conduct joint research, and interact with their Purdue counterparts.

    • Go Purdue Educational Exchange Program- is a program that provides international student speakers for public and private schools, civic groups, businesses, and other entities in the Lafayette-West Lafayette community. Students share various aspects of their cultural heritage upon request. Areas include history, customs, dress, holidays, language, sports, and other topics.

    Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service

    Extension - is the community connection in every Indiana county to the expertise and resources of Purdue University and the nationwide Land Grant University system. Purdue Extension is the gateway to lifelong learning in many Indiana communities. With its tie to the Office of Engagement, Extension is able to provide the "front door" for families and their youth, communities, and businesses to the knowledge resources of Purdue University.

    Leadership for the Purdue Extension is provided through the Director of Extension who also serves as Associate Dean of Agriculture. Over 100 on-campus Extension Specialists have appointments in departments in the Colleges of Agriculture and Consumer and Family Sciences, and the School of Veterinary Medicine. With the exception of the five Regional Specialists located at the Southwest Purdue Agriculture Program (Vincennes) and the North Central campus, all Specialists are located on the West Lafayette campus.
    Some 275 Extension Educators are located in the 92 counties of Indiana. These professionals provide the linkage between the citizens of Indiana and the scientists located on the Purdue campuses. The Educators listen to what local citizens are saying and provide feedback to the University for determining research and education needs. The Educators provide programs based on identified local needs.
    Purdue Extension has been a part of the University since the Indiana General Assembly passed the Farmers’ Institute Act on March 9, 1889. This Act provided funds for the first Extension work to be organized by Purdue University beginning in 1905. The Extension Service was recognized nationally in 1914 by the Smith-Lever Act. Funding for the Extension Service programs is provided by federal, state, and county governments, and from grants, contracts, and fees for specialized programs.
    Major Program Areas:

    • Agriculture and Natural Resources
    • Consumer and Family Sciences
    • 4-H Youth Development
    • Economic and Community Development

    Source: Office of Engagement