April 3, 2023

‘This Is My Comeback’: Purdue Global launches new brand platform and marketing campaign

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Jacque Yates has a message for working adults everywhere: You’ve got a comeback in you.

Yates, originally from Gary, Indiana, and now living in Texas, speaks from experience. She returned to school 10 years after completing her bachelor’s degree in a traditional college setting.  

“With the help of Purdue Global, I was able to come back greater, and for me, greater looks like becoming Dr. Jacque Yates,” said Yates, who earned her Master of Public Health degree in 2021 and delivered the August 2022 Purdue Global commencement address. “That wouldn’t have been a possibility if it wasn’t for my journey here at Purdue Global or the various staff and faculty that embodied the values of seeing me as a whole person. I hope that you are able to be a part of somebody’s comeback story because they’re worth it.”

Backed by the power of Purdue 

Purdue University, Indiana’s land-grant university, has operated Purdue Global since 2018, following Purdue’s purchase of Kaplan University. Purdue Global opened access to online education for thousands of working adults who have life experience and some college credits across Indiana, the U.S. and around the world.

Purdue Global officially launched a new brand campaign, “This Is My Comeback,” Monday (April 3), marking the first refreshment of the brand since the university’s formation. The brand campaign is an outward expression of the university’s strengths of being an online university, built for working adults and part of, and backed by, Purdue University. The campaign includes a new visual identity and narrative that will guide Purdue Global’s storytelling, marketing and communication efforts. 

The new branding and marketing strategy is the culmination of a yearlong effort following discussions and collaborations between Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley; R. Ethan Braden, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Purdue University and Purdue Global; and Kati Pratt, executive director of brand and marketing strategy for Purdue Marketing and Communications. This group and various stakeholders reviewed the basic question of what it means to be Purdue Global in a crowded online education field.

“Today is a pivotal day in Purdue Global’s history,” Dooley said. “Over the past five years, we have brought more resources, expertise and staff from Purdue West Lafayette to the work we do at Purdue Global. We have emulated what Purdue West Lafayette has done because it was good for both of us, but more importantly, the students we serve.” 

Dooley said the rebranding builds on Purdue Global’s strengths and commitment to help working adults by benefiting from the faculty’s practical, real-world experience, which focuses on skills and career outcomes for students. 

“It goes back to our name. That first word is Purdue. Both Purdue and Purdue Global offer something to the world,” Dooley said.  

Almost 40 million Americans have earned college credit but have not completed a college degree. Dooley said it’s time to transform not just Purdue Global but also online higher education and help those with college credits come back and cross the stage to earn their degrees.

The “comeback” stories are the cornerstones of the Purdue Global campaign, showing the real lives and challenges that working adults face as they look to improve their career trajectory, economic standing and quality of life through an accessible degree from a respected, rigorous and trustworthy online school. Supportive networks built by Purdue Global’s faculty and staff can help determined adults not only attain their goals but, in many instances, provide hope and serve as role models for their children as they go back to school to attain their degree. 

Ultimately, according to Braden, it means getting into character and looking for ways to engage and encourage those nearly 40 million adults to come back and earn their degree.  

“For 154 years, Purdue, as a land-grant university, has been on a mission to make education accessible for more and more people. That’s a big idea that people can get behind and want to associate with,” Braden said. “It’s in our DNA. Purdue Global is the next frontier of Purdue’s land-grant mission. With it, we can take a trusted education and transcend boundaries – otherwise physical boundaries – using technology to bring a Purdue Global education to anybody who wants it and is willing to earn it.” 

Braden also sees a major opportunity to expand the Purdue mission to serve the world through a Purdue-backed online curriculum that is built and designed for working adults. 

“We have an incredible master brand, an incredible story, and most importantly, we have incredible faculty and staff who care deeply about changing the world by changing the lives of these students,” Braden said. “Our students say that working on their Purdue Global degree is hard and a lot of work, but it’s worth it. Purdue Global is challenging. It’s true, relevant and legitimate. In a sentence, Purdue Global is about real opportunity for more students.”

As part of the Purdue system, Purdue Global graduates also are eligible for membership in Purdue Alumni Association and other groups associated with Purdue and managed by Purdue for Life Foundation

Built for working adults

Much has changed during the past five years in online education – including a global pandemic that made online education not only accepted but also a requirement in many instances, with more brick-and-mortar higher education institutions offering online classes and degree programs. 

Purdue Global leaders have been working with Fortune 500 companies either directly or through partners like Guild to become one of the leading options for employee education benefits, providing access to education programs that foster employee recruitment, training, development, promotion and retention within these companies. Purdue Global also has a deep partnership with Ivy Tech Community College and OneTen.org to address workforce development nationally and across Indiana. 

The current student snapshot at Purdue Global includes:

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

Purdue Marketing and Communications did extensive research with Purdue Global students, prospective students, student advisors, faculty, alumni and business partners. Three themes emerged from the research: 1) students want a university that will help them prepare for what’s next in their lives and careers, 2) as working adults, they want to feel valued and get credit for what they know and have already done, and 3) they want a degree that they can trust and be proud of – one that is backed by Purdue.

“Purdue Global will prepare students for what’s next,” Pratt said. “Purdue Global is for working adults who bring life experience to the classroom. They are often working adults who have some college credits who want to earn a degree that they can be proud of and that employers will respect.”

About Purdue Global

Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults who have life experience and often some college credits. It offers flexible paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, military service and previous college credits, no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and backed by Purdue University. For more information, visit https://stories.purdue.edu/purdue-global/.

Writer/Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-496-6160, oatesw@purdue.edu; @mo_oates

Sources: Frank Dooley

Ethan Braden

Kati Pratt

Jacque Yates

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