STEM education in the United States is lagging far behind. Purdue Bound provides a creative solution to this urgent national dilemma. The Purdue Bound solution strengthens the educational pipeline for minorities and low income students in STEM disciplines. It is a comprehensive approach to address systemic socioeconomic inequality, under-qualified teachers, being under-resourced and historical achievement gap challenges. Purdue Bound brings together critical elements of the educational process: students, parents, teachers, private industry partners, university faculty and staff to provide a pathway to success. This successful model addresses this national concern by impacting the local community. Purdue University partnered with local corporations and Indianapolis Public Schools to create a program that better prepares students for STEM careers. Through Purdue Bound, many minorities and first-generation students are prepared for college and gain exposure to STEM career opportunities.
Its comprehensive program design addresses the needs of STEM education at both public school and college levels. Grade point standards, SAT preparation and more rigorous coursework better equips students for college level coursework. Summer camp workshops, research, shadowing and mentoring cultivate and provide enriching experiences for participants. This holistic model serves to promote career refinement, character and leadership development. Corporate involvement adds value to the participant experience. Students are mentored by professionals, and receive valuable hands-on experiences that teach them the practical relevance of math and science as tools to solve real world problems.
The Purdue Bound solution strengthens the educational pipeline for minorities and low income students in STEM disciplines. It is a comprehensive approach designed to address systemic challenges faced by these populations (socioeconomic inequality, under-qualified teachers, being under-resourced, historical achievement gaps, etc.).
Purdue Bound has been successful overall. More than 300 public school students each year are benefited. More than 98% of students who complete the Purdue Bound public school program go on to college.. At the college level, where 72% of the participants fall into the underrepresented minority category, students mature academically and professionally. Purdue Bound Scholars are actively involved on campus, conduct research, study abroad and participate in internships. Collegiate Purdue Bound student leaders raised more than $ 13,000.00 during the 2012-2013 academic year, hosting a university-wide “Growing Leaders Conference” that featured a nationally recognized speaker. Since 2011, the program has graduated 80 Purdue alumni who have entered the ranks of the professional world or are pursuing further graduate study.
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS, TEACHERS AND COUNSELORS CREATE A PATH TO SUCCESS
IPS Mentor teachers, guidance counselors and administrators play an extremely important function in the success of Purdue Bound, so you’ll want to identify members of your staff who will participate as well. Not only are Mentor teachers responsible for identifying participants and facilitating after school sessions, they are strategically positioned as role models, career coaches, who whet the appetite of students for discovery, investigation and research.
CORPORATE PARTNERS SUPPORT A PATH TO SUCCESS
Corporate industry partners have teamed up with Purdue Bound for company-led projects within public schools. Rolls Royce works with Arsenal Tech students to build solar cars. Raytheon partners closely with Harshman Middle School staff and students to build catapults and provide company tours. Purdue’s School of Veterinary Science collaborated with Crispus Attucks in Indianapolis to establish a Purdue Bound Vet Club.