May 10, 2023

Purdue Global looks to expand education opportunities for working adults

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Global will expand educational opportunities for working adults from underserved communities with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The grant will help Purdue Global develop a plan to support the success of more working adult learners, ensure equitable access and support the success of Black, Latino, Indigenous and low-income students by creating a community to foster the retention and graduation of all students, regardless of their background.

“Purdue Global is appreciative of the partnership and support from the Gates Foundation to help us achieve our mission to provide working adults with greater access to quality postsecondary education and to help more students from underserved communities earn bachelor’s degrees,” said Chancellor Frank Dooley. “We know that increasing the number of college degrees awarded to underserved students can help improve the employability and, ultimately, the upward social mobility of these populations – an outcome that is so important, we have made it a universitywide initiative.”

Purdue Global – Purdue’s online university for working adults – is an expansion of Purdue’s 21st century land-grant mission to provide educational access to all people. Purdue Global helps prepare students for the next phase in their lives and careers by offering programs that lead to a degree backed by Purdue University.

“Through the grant from the Gates Foundation, Purdue Global can dramatically improve our ability to help close the educational outcome gaps among Black, Latinx, Indigenous and low-income students,” said Tiffany Townsend, Purdue Global vice president of organizational culture and chief diversity officer. “Given the enormous need for quality and affordable adult education in the United States, we are excited to explore ways to increase the diversity of students served.”

Purdue Global serves a diverse, nontraditional student body from across the U.S. Currently at Purdue Global:

  • 60% are 30 years of age or older.
  • 51% have a child or other dependents.
  • 50% are first-generation college students.
  • 42% are underrepresented minorities.
  • 37% are Pell Grant recipients.
  • Nearly one-third are either in the military or veterans.

With this and the nearly 40 million Americans who have earned college credit but have not completed a degree, Purdue Global recently launched a new brand and marketing platform. “This Is My Comeback” features current Purdue Global students and recent alumni who made the decision to come back to school to move forward in their lives by earning a college degree.

Purdue Global has launched many recent initiatives to improve student access, retention and success, including new partnerships with GetSet, an AI-driven platform that allows students to communicate and build community; an endorsement as a talent developer by OneTen, a coalition of leading companies that put skills first; and the launch of a student success coaching program to provide assistance and resources. Purdue Global also launched the BEST (Business Education Start Track) program to promote success for students in the School of Business and Information Technology. 

Purdue Global Writer/Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-496-6160,; @mo_oates

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-23 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at