sealPurdue News

August 30, 1996

Technology education center opens with $1.35 million grant

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue University's School of Technology is using a three-year, $1.35 million grant from the National Science Foundation to open the Midwest Center for Advanced Technology Education.

Focusing primarily on technology faculty development, the new center will tap into the resources of Purdue, its Statewide Technology sites, and six Midwestern community colleges: Cincinnati State Technical Community College; Macomb Community College, Mount Clemens, Mich.; Parkland Community College, Champaign, Ill.; St. Louis Community College; Triton Community College, River Grove, Ill.; and Vincennes University.

The goal is to create an interactive educational network that provides technology-based curriculum, instruction and other informational resources to industry, secondary schools, community colleges, universities and technical societies.

"This is the School of Technology's first major federal grant," said Don K. Gentry, dean. "It reaffirms what students and industry professionals have been saying for years, that Purdue is one of the best technology education institutions in the country. It's nice to receive national recognition from such a well-respected source."

By enhancing faculty capabilities, the center seeks to prepare students for world-class manufacturing and distribution practices, said Dennis R. Depew, head of the Department of Industrial Technology and director of the center.

"It is imperative that we strengthen teachers' understanding and application of technology," he said. "If we can produce the most highly trained educators in technology education, that expertise will be passed on to produce the most highly trained graduates and industry professionals in the world."

The center will develop World Wide Web pages, printed publications and telecommunications avenues, and it will conduct eight regional and national workshops each year for faculty education. Faculty from Purdue's main campus, its statewide sites and each of the regional community colleges will be involved in training other faculty and creating various educational materials.

The workshops, which will begin next April, will focus heavily on manufacturing, but they will be organized according to timely topics in industry. Workshops will be held on Purdue's main campus, its statewide sites and the six community college sites.

The center also will collect and catalog technology curriculum information from institutions across the country.

Gentry and Depew envision a national center being built from the regional framework.

"Our goal is to build this into a national resource that serves the needs of industry and technology-based organizations throughout the nation," Depew said. "This grant speaks loud and clear that Purdue has some of the best facilities and some of the most highly trained faculty in the country. It's our goal to help professionals around the world achieve that same level of expertise."

The center is in Room 378, Knoy Hall of Technology. For more information or to register faculty for upcoming workshops, contact Depew at (765) 494-1101.


Sources: Don K. Gentry, (765) 494-2552; home, (765) 497-2627

Dennis R. Depew, (765) 494-1101; home, (765) 497-7191

Writer: Victor B. Herr, (765) 494-2077; e-mail,

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