Annual Report

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Letter from the Director

The Office of Future Engineers (OFE) celebrated the 5-year anniversary of its creation this past year. The occasion was marked in true OFE style with lots and lots of quality coffee, sweet treats, games (corn hole works well in the atrium - no wind!), students, laughter, and of course music that was just a bit too loud!

So much has happened since Amy Glenn and I mapped what this department would look like and how it could best serve our future families and the College of Engineering (CoE). In the last five years, as a result of the combination of experience, creativity, necessity, hard work and a willingness “to try things” we have grown from a three-person team in the School of Engineering Education to a five-member professional staff, a graduate student, and 20+ student staff. Our student staff do just about everything a successful office needs to function. They are doing web design, social media strategy and posting, planning events from A to Z, leading presentations, and providing prospective students and their families with the relevant information needed to make their college choice.

I’m truly proud of our entire team who strive to serve all we meet with enthusiasm, kindness, and care. I am also grateful to all the units, departments, and individuals that have helped us get to this point. I could easily fill out pages of names to thank - staff, students, faculty, admissions, professional schools, engineering departments, and numerous alumni. I do want to mention a special thank you to Dr. Terry Reed, who was instrumental in the recognition of OFE as a department, as well as Dean Emeritus Leah Jamieson who has always been one of our biggest supporters.

In December of 2016, we were recognized as a unit by the College of Engineering for our pioneering ideas in student recruitment, receiving the CoE Team Excellence Award was truly an honor. Lindsay Elias, was also recognized individually that night, receiving the Customer Service Award, which is so well deserved. Check out all of OFE’s awards and recognitions on our website.

Ironically, outside of those we work with regularly, I get asked often, “What do you do, you don’t really need to recruit, right?” I generally respond with a laugh, or a sigh, depending on how busy the office has been that day. Thanks to the continued quality of our programs, and the success of our alumni, we are extremely fortunate to have a large number of students applying to Purdue Engineering. As this number has grown, it takes a dedicated team across the university to help personalize the experience of those we come into contact with each day. Students have many options and are applying to more schools. Our yield - the percent of admits that enroll - for out of state students is around 17%, while for in-state students it is just over 60%.

The higher education market has become much more competitive due to the number of high school graduates decreasing significantly, the present economy as well as tuition inflation; which has put the spotlight on affordability, the ROI of college decisions, and the emergence of alternative educational deliveries. All of these factors have led to only 34% of the colleges across the country meeting their enrollment goals by May 1 (Inside Higher ED). These pressures will remain for many years while new challenges emerge. Despite the current climate, we once again were able to exceed our target numbers with 1,966 beginners in the First-Year Engineering class, made up of approximately 28% women, and the largest number of underrepresented students in Purdue Engineering’s history. More detailed numbers can be found throughout this annual report.

I am quite proud of this new class, but recognize that there is still work to be done and out of the box thinking that needs to happen in order to continue to meet our goals. I believe it is important to have a mindset in recruitment of, “maybe nobody will come,” and to focus on continuous improvement. This summer we audited all of our various presentations using live audiences, which resulted in the creation of a new interactive engineering session modeled after Purdue impact classes. This engineering session is now being implemented in the new Wilmeth Active Learning Center, thanks to positive input from visiting families. We have transformed our print pieces, creating unique pieces such as re-stickable postcard decals that other areas on campus have begun to emulate. We continue training and development of our student staff on a daily basis, providing them with the tools they need to execute most of what we do in our office, including creating and running a brand new on-campus recruitment event, and the design and implementation of a strategic social media plan.

Here at OFE we are a very fortunate group to be working at such a great university and supporting amazing students who will go out and make the world a better place. I was reminded of this recently when I ran into three recent alums at homecoming - two of them had worked in our office! They graduated about 16 months ago and as they described their jobs, I kept thinking, “I know Purdue prepares you well for this, but are you sure you’re old enough to take on all that responsibility!?” One is the lead industrial engineer for water parks at Walt Disney World, working on implementing the FastPass+ for all Disney water parks. Another is part of the team rolling out the brand-new Mustang at Ford Motor Company. The other works at Boeing and has already been referred to as a “cybersecurity expert” in Homeland Security. I was blown away by the contributions they are already making to society. This is why we continue to be inspired to do what we do!

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments about the report or if there are ways we can be supportive of your endeavors. We look forward to seeing you on campus or on the road during the 2017-2018 recruitment cycle.

Best wishes and Boiler Up!

David Bowker
Director of the Office of Future Engineers
Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach

Our Mission

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.

Our People

David Bowker

David Bowker

Amy Glenn

Amy Glenn

Associate Directoraglenn@purdue.edu
Heather Coar

Heather Coar

Assistant Director of Communicationshcoar@purdue.edu
Aurie Swartz

I. Aurie Swartz

Assistant Director of Operationsaurie@purdue.edu
Lindsay Elias

Lindsay Elias

Office Managerlindsaye@purdue.edu

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.

Our Approaches


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.

Student Development

Empowering students to increase their skills in public speaking, interpersonal communication, writing, 2D design, project management, and much more.

Daily Presentations

School/Class Visits

Strategic Events

Social Media Engagement

Direct Mailings

Alumni Connections

Latest Statistics

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:

Application and Acceptance

  2012 ... 2015 2016 2017 1-Year Change
Total Applications 10,446   17,003 17,737 17,191 -3.1%
Admitted 6,647   9,161 8,806 8,136 -7.6%
Enrolled 1,750   1,923 2,077 1,966 -5.3%

Enrolled student profile

  2012 ... 2015 2016 2017 1-Year Change
Resident 586   623 710 711 0.0%
Domestic Non-Resident 785   1,008 1,042 1,052 0.0%
International 379   291 329 203 -38.3%
Female 470   549 548 543 0.0%
Under-Represented Minority (URM) 104   145 152 185 21.7%

URM Enrollment profile

  2012 ... 2015 2016 2017 1-Year Change
Black or African American 25   39 38 33 -13.2%
Hispanic/Latino 61   85 85 119 40.0%
Native American or Alaska Native 1   3 1 2 100%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 1   3 2 0 -100%
Two or More Races 44   52 80 82 0.03%

First-Year Engineering Class Data

  2012 ... 2015 2016 2017
SAT - Composite 1294   1338 1330 1316
SAT - Math N/A   706 697 682
SAT - Critical Reading N/A   625 633 634
ACT - Composite N/A   31 31 31
GPA 3.82   3.89 3.91 3.92

Summary of Activities

On-Campus Events

334 events

23,828 guests

Off-Campus Events

56 events

8,974 guests

Email Marketing

38 campaigns

383,450 emails

Print Marketing

3 print pieces

48,662 recipients


OFE Welcome Center

Neil A. Armstrong Hall of Engineering, Room 1085
701 W Stadium Ave.
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: (765) 494-3975
Email: future-engineers@purdue.edu