Aspire to inspire all middle school through high school students to consider engineering as a career, dedicated to recruiting a diverse and academically gifted student body to the First-Year Engineering (FYE) program at Purdue University, and continued engagement of Purdue Engineering Alumni in the development and growth of future leaders in Engineering.
We are also helped out by an incredible group of current students and interns who assist us with daily operations, marketing, and communications for our office. The Purdue Student Engineering Foundation (PSEF) also collaborates with OFE in our daily information sessions and on-campus events making valuable connections with prospective students and families.
We educate middle school and high school students, as well as their teachers and counselors, on what being an engineer is all about. Through presentations ranging from what an engineer does to planning a career in engineering to how to pay for college, we hope to get more students of all backgrounds interested in engineering.
Through on- and off-campus events, social media outreach, targeted email, a responsive website, print materials, and personal interactions, we seek to connect with high-achieving students from around the world to provide them with an insider's perspective of Purdue Engineering and campus life to help them determine if Purdue is right for them.
We constantly seek to partner with both current students and alumni to expand our outreach to middle schools and high schools all around the world.
Empowering students to increase their skills in public speaking, interpersonal communication, writing, 2D design, project management, and much more.
Through the collaborative efforts of students, staff, faculty, and alumni, we put our mission statement into action through a broad range of on- and off-campus activities.
Social Media Engagement
Below are the three-year trends and five-year comparisons of the number of admitted and enrolled students for various categories and the academic profiles of First-Year Engineering students:
Greetings from Armstrong Hall! Thank you so much for looking into what we've been up to this past year. Once again, it was a fast-paced, lickety-split recruitment cycle and I could not be more proud of what our team has accomplished.
Last year, the Office of Future Engineers (OFE) celebrated the success of a brand new responsive website – it continues to be a powerful recruitment and engagement tool in our arsenal. We also have a team of communications interns who are actively working on OFE’s social media channels to share our unit’s personality and encourage conversations with students who haven’t arrived to campus yet but are visiting Purdue or inquiring about their future as a Boilermaker.
In an effort to meet the growing interest in Purdue Engineering, personalize the prospective student experience, and maintain a cost-effective and fully staffed unit, the Office of Future Engineers (OFE) turned to the biggest and best resource on Purdue’s campus - current Purdue students!
"Engineering is a team sport. We do this because it is fun. We do it because we love it. But at the end of the day, we are making a difference."
--Leah H. Jamieson, John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering, Purdue University
OFE Welcome Center
Neil A. Armstrong Hall of Engineering, Room 1085
701 W Stadium Ave.
West Lafayette, IN 47907 Phone: (765) 494-3975 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from the Director
Greetings from Armstrong Hall! Thank you so much for looking into what we've been up to this past year. Once again, it was a fast-paced, lickety-split recruitment cycle and I could not be more proud of what our team has accomplished. We received nearly 18,000 applications and welcomed a record-setting class into First Year-Engineering for 2016 (quite a bit above our goal). This was achieved even though we were more selective in the admissions process as well as awarding merit scholarships. We focused on personalizing our communication to prospective students and this has contributed to more students deciding Purdue was the right choice for them. Feature articles in this report will share with you more details about our recruitment efforts.
Families are recognizing the value of a Purdue Engineering degree. The sky, or even the cosmos, is not the limit. Certainly, we are just one piece of the puzzle and this cannot happen without the commitment and passion of our Office of Admissions, current students, and Faculty and staff throughout the college and the university. So, a sincere thank you to all of you for supporting students in finding their college fit.
Things seem to never stay the same and never slow down, but most days we love that! All of us in OFE look forward to working with the next group of future students, and we strive to get better at providing them with the right information so they can make the most informed decision.
According to a study completed by Royall & Company, in 2016, students searching for information about universities ranked email over college fairs and non-college websites. To gain the affinity of students applying to and considering where to pursue their baccalaureate studies, university emails are the preferred method of communication, along with responsive institutional websites and up-to-date social media.
Last year, the Office of Future Engineers (OFE) celebrated the success of a brand new responsive website – it continues to be a powerful recruitment and engagement tool. We also have a team of communications interns who are actively working on OFE’s social media channels to encourage conversations with students who haven’t arrived to campus yet but are visiting Purdue or inquiring about their future as a Boilermaker. The interns accomplish this through traditional means such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a blog; and are determined to be trendsetters with the use of Vlogging, #Hashtag campaigns, and connecting our direct mail pieces to our social media channels.
In order for Purdue Engineering’s brand to make an impression at a time when future students are being overwhelmed with emails as part of their college search, it was pertinent that we find a way to break through the noise. The Assistant Director of Communications and her interns took the time to understand the data and feedback we received last year and this cycle we created dynamic templates that delivered clear and concise information to the students’ device of choice. Together they completed 25 direct e-campaigns for pre-applicants, admitted students, and families of admitted students. The messages also included as many links as possible to relevant information, so that they could explore – and digest – on their own time the information that was applicable to them. As a result of our intensive planning and the completed campaigns more e-mails were opened, there were more unique opens, more links clicked on, and more time was spent on specific pages of the Office of Future Engineers website – including: Visit Us, Contact Us, Info Sessions, Purdue Families, How Do I Pay for Purdue, Engineering Undergrad Contacts, and Engineering Majors.
Let’s dig a little deeper and look at the data of a subset the emails and how they performed from last year to this year once our team took the time to understand the needs of our future students better. This series of 16 e-mails OFE sent as a touchpoint to students who indicated an interest on their admissions application of studying a particular discipline within Purdue’s College of Engineering. The chart included with this article is to show the sharp difference in unique opens year over year for this series. How did we accomplish this? Special attention was paid to updating the text so that it was brief and linked to sites that would help the students find the resources they needed. The templates were designed to be responsive to the device they opened the email on and all emails in this series went out a month earlier. Unique opens are just one example where our email campaign saw improvement, and, as mentioned earlier, more links were clicked on, and more web traffic was generated. We look forward to benchmarking more successes this upcoming year.
Student Leadership Development
Since OFE started staffing students to play a more significant role in 2014, Purdue University developed the Leadership and Professional Development Initiative outlining the core competencies for students. These competencies include: interpersonal interaction, strategic planning, group dynamics, communication, civic responsibility, self-awareness and development, personal behavior, and learning & reasoning; all of which OFE Student staff members are developing.
During the 2015-2016 year, OFE remained steady on the number of student staff and interns working for our office. Student staff that support OFE Operations are all current engineering students that answer emails and phone calls, meet with drop-in visitors, lead daily Engineering Information Session presentations, coordinate on- and off-campus event logistics, and help run the OFE Welcome Center. They also serve as tour guides, co-presenters, and panelists. Over the course of the year, we had our students take a larger, more hands-on role in planning our strategic events around the country.
By utilizing current students, it provides prospective students with someone to better relate to since they only recently went through the college selection process themselves. It allows OFE the ability to provide the most current information about Purdue Engineering since students are living life as a Boilermaker every day, while giving them the opportunity to build valuable professional skills to add to their resume. Student staff are passionate about bringing us unique and fresh perspectives that allow us to find newer and better ways of doing things. They are the face and voice of Purdue Engineering.
Every semester 2-5 interns are hired to create, support, and maintain extensive and engaging communication and marketing efforts for OFE. These students come from a variety of different majors on campus, bringing with them unique and highly valued skills to assist in web development, 2D design, print and digital marketing pieces, and social media campaigns. During the 2015-16 year, the internship program continued to develop as every intern received a more detailed job description and job title – making the program one step closer to being an official program recognized by the University for academic credit. At present the job descriptions highlight how liberal arts students are enhancing their technical skills and STEM students are broadening their communication and presentation skills under the guidance of their supervisor. During the summer of 2016, two of the interns and their supervisor, Assistant Director Heather Coar, were invited to present and hold a panel on the topic “Communicating with Millennial Engineering Students” for communicators and administrators in the College of Engineering.
Our most recent student development effort has been using Gallup Strengths Finder Assessment as an identifying tool and combining it with the practical application of “Habitudes” by Growing Leaders. Through the use of the Habitudes images students are able to better understand and apply their main Strengths themes. Habitudes uses images and stories to convey messages about challenging topics, to get key messages across and help our students grow both personally and professionally. We host regular Habitudes meetings outside of normal working hours to give our students the opportunity to see everyone, including OFE leaders, in a much more casual and open environment.
As a result of the success of implementing student staff to such a significant roles in recruitment, Purdue’s Office of Admissions has followed suit by employing current students in more significant ways and receiving positive feedback. Additionally, Director David Bowker and Associate Director Amy Glenn have presented “Who’s Your Voice: Developing Student Staff and a First-class Recruitment Program” at Purdue’s Boiler Share Symposium, ACT National Conference, the Ruffalo Noel Levitz National Conference, and the IACRAO Regional Conference.
The Office of Future Engineers hosts Engineering Information Sessions (EIS) every weekday at 11:30 a.m. so that prospective students and their families can learn more about Purdue Engineering no matter what day they choose to visit. These 50-minute presentations cover everything from academics to hands-on opportunities to student life to career outcomes. These presentations are almost always led by two current engineering students. During the academic year, we also offer guests an optional engineering facilities tour immediately after the EIS that is led by students from the Purdue Student Engineering Foundation and takes visitors through the Mechanical Engineering building, Hampton Hall of Civil Engineering, and Armstrong Hall of Engineering.
OFE leadership also visits high schools to discuss a range of topics in the field of engineering, including how to prepare for college, engineering careers, and Purdue Engineering. School representatives can fill out our Speaker Request Form if they wish to have a Purdue Engineering Representative speak at their school or class.
In addition to a variety of on-campus events, and school visits, we also visit key geographic areas around the country to bring Purdue to those that can’t make it to campus in person.
Social Media Engagement
With accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot and YouTube, there are a variety of avenues for us to form and build on relationships with prospective students around the world.
While the Office of Future Engineers focuses heavily on digital media, we also continue reach out to students via physical mail to give them a tangible connection to campus.
With nearly 90,000 Purdue Engineering alumni living around the world, it only makes sense to tap into this dedicated and passionate group of people. We work with alumni around the country and across the globe to help us with our outreach efforts through alumni open houses, visiting college fairs, and talking with prospective students in their respective areas about Purdue and Purdue Engineering.