Purdue University President Mitch Daniels challenged the Polytechnic Institute to build an innovative program based not on “seat time” in a series of courses but rather on successful student demonstration of specific skills, or competencies. To meet that challenge, the college developed competency-based programs that provide opportunities for students to self-regulate the pace of their studies, to become adaptable, lifelong learners, and to demonstrate competencies in a variety of situations. Students can also use their competency work to build electronic portfolios that reflect their mastery of specific skills.
Technology + business literacy = success
Purdue’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, administered by the Office of the Provost, enrolls more than 1,800 students per year. Students from all colleges across the University, including the Polytechnic, select five certificate-related courses to complement their own areas of study. Upon successful completion of each required course, students receive an official certificate, which is also recorded on their academic transcript.
“Many universities have entrepreneurship classes,” said Nathalie Duval-Couetil, professor of technology leadership and innovation. “Our program is unique because it brings together students from all majors and backgrounds and provides them with the business literacy and entrepreneurial mindset they need to thrive in innovative, technology-driven companies.”
Reasons for the program’s success are as varied as the students themselves.
“Some students start business ventures while still in school,” said Duval-Couetil. “Others tell us they get jobs because of these classes. Many students appreciate the networking opportunities. Still others tell us the exposure to the entrepreneurship concepts helped them look at their college education and careers with a different perspective.”
My goals are to be happy and to make a difference, and I do not think that my future holds only one career path.I will be prepared for lifelong learning and to tackle any problem holistically.
- ANNA-NIKOL GEORGIEV
sophomore, transdisciplinary studies in technology and organizational leadership with minors in biotechnology, theater design and production, and design and innovation
All indications point to the successful transformation of the Polytechnic.
With a focus on innovative learning methods, hands-on experiences and industry partnerships, these 10 Elements of Transformation drive the Polytechnic Institute’s dedication to impactful technology education.