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Daniels Seeks To Boost STEM Fields, Purdue’s Online Classes

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels plans to lay out 10 initiatives to boost the STEM fields.

Purdue is angling for an edge over other universities with the roll-out this week of plans to beef up the value of Purdue research and education.

President Mitch Daniels says Purdue needs to take the lead in thinking through the best blend of modern technology with the old-style residential college experience.

He is envisioning a future where students view most large lecture classes online, while reserving classrooms for hands-on work, special projects, and areas in which a student is struggling.

“Many of these new investments are aimed at driving up the value of a Purdue education, the amount that students grow and learn and its applicability of today and tomorrow, divided by a price that we’re going to do our very best to control,” Daniels said.

Daniels met Monday with Purdue‘s university senate, the faculty governing body, to detail his plans. He will follow up later in the week with a public panel discussion on campus and an address in Indianapolis to the Economic Club of Indiana.

Daniels says a package of 10 initiatives will focus on reinforcing Purdue‘s strengths in science, technology, engineering, and math education and research. He says the changes can steer more funding to those key areas while sticking to a pledge to hold down tuition.

The 10 initiatives include a variety of plans, including investing in medical drug research, expand Purdue’s College of Engineering, and creating a year-round university schedule where students would have the option to take a full slate of classes throughout the year.

Daniels say a year-round option would allow students to complete degrees faster and improve graduation rates.

The overall goal, Daniels says, is to firmly establish Purdue as a top-tier university, as measured by the educational value students receive, and by how well a Purdue degree‘s perceived value translates into job opportunities for graduates.

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