College-wide Programs

College of Engineering
Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) is an innovative engineering-based design program, using a service-learning model to meet the educational needs of students and the compelling needs of the communities where they live and study. EPICS students earn academic recognition for their participation on design teams that solve technology-based problems for not-for-profit organizations in the local community. The teams are multidisciplinary, include a mix of freshmen through seniors, and often involve long-term, multi-year projects. The EPICS Program, founded and headquartered at Purdue University, has grown to include a consortium of 20 EPICS universities and 35 high schools. Currently there are giving options for every budget and interest.

The giving opportunities listed below are cornerstone gifts essential to advancing Engineering Projects in Community Service program. While we feel it is important to share these funding priorities with you, please understand that each and every contribution is vital to sustaining this very important program. We greatly appreciate your support!

Naming the Engineering Projects in Community Service Program $10,000,000

Financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporations provides the margin of excellence that distinguishes great institutions from good ones. Nothing better exemplifies this level of excellence than a gift that would name the EPICS program and provide sustainable funding to ensure this excellence will continue. Naming the EPICS Program will create an opportunity to invest in the future and provide financial resources, in perpetuity, for exceptional students. This type of commitment brings incredible distinction and prestige to the program and allows for transformational growth and opportunity.

Naming the Director of the Engineering Projects in Community Service Director $1,000,000

Endowed Directorships are associated with the best universities and colleges around the world and represent prestige, leadership, and profound responsibility for those who hold such positions. An Endowed Directorship for the EPICS Program represents an opportunity for the College of Engineering to define its course in the area of service-learning and build on the success of one of the very best engineering programs in the world. The investment income from the endowment generates a stable annual income from which a portion of the salary for the director is allocated, as well as discretionary funds for the programs benefit.

EPICS at Purdue

The Purdue EPICS program's success served as the springboard for the successful dissemination of EPICS to universities and high schools across the nation. The Purdue EPICS program continues to grow and during the 2009-2010 academic year the program experienced its highest enrollment with 343 students engaged in 80 projects with 30 local partners. More than 300 projects have been delivered to the community, and over 2,300 students have participated in EPICS at Purdue.

Team Sponsorships $5,000

EPICSs teams design, develop and deliver real prototypes at no charge to their not-for-profit partners in the local community. Team sponsorships provide the resources to cover expenses that may include hardware, software, or other materials that must be purchased to support the construction, testing and deployment of the prototypes.

Curriculum Development $30,000 annually

Optimizing the multidisciplinary experiential learning environment of EPICS requires extensive curriculum development and field-testing. Successful models will be shared with EPICS programs nationwide, creating a consistent and leading-edge approach to engineering-based service-learning. Support for continued curriculum development includes strategic graduate student support from across campus, guided by faculty and staff from the EPICS Purdue leadership team. Annual support of $30,000 or a minimum endowment of $600,000 is needed.

EPICS Faculty Fund $10,000 annually

EPICS exists as its own academic unit and relies on the cooperation of the various departments, schools and programs on campus, as well as individual faculty members, to meet the needs of the program. The faculty fund would provide incentives for faculty to participate, allowing EPICS to strategically engage new faculty from important disciplines. Funding will allow EPICS to provide incentives such as graduate assistant support, equipment purchases, travel expenses for conferences, and stipends. Annual support of $10,000 or a minimum endowment of $200,000 is needed.

Technical Support Fund $60,000 annually

Technical support is crucial to the growth, sustainability and future interaction of the design teams for EPICS High, the EPICS Program at Purdue and the EPICS University Program. Web sites, electronic media, and communication systems are vital to support distance learning and collaboration and to provide teacher sharing and mentoring. Funds would support both the development and the maintenance of these important components.

Materials and Equipment $10,000 annually

In order to maximize the impact EPICS has on the community as well as the education of undergraduate students, state of the art equipment and a diversity of materials and support systems are needed to equip the laboratories and to provide materials to support the team design activities. This includes software, hardware, and laboratory equipment and supplies. Annual support of $10,000 or a minimum endowment of $200,000 is needed.

EPICS University Program

EPICS has expanded nationally to 20 universities with a total enrollment of over 2,500 students. Of those students, 31 percent are female and 21 percent are from underrepresented minorities. Two-hundred and eighty-three teams are currently working on 443 projects.

Naming the EPICS National Coordinator $750,000

Successful EPICS programs at US universities and colleges require support and coordination as well as continued faculty development opportunities. A national coordinator would provide continuity of support for schools seeking to create EPICS programs, faculty interested in joining EPICS, as well as continued support of existing EPICS programs seeking to enlarge their scope. Coordination across schools also enables collaboration on regional and national scale projects. Endowing the National Coordinator is important to the future growth of the National program.

EPICS Dissemination Fund $500,000

The EPICS University program, with its national focus, is in the final stages of developing its new strategic plan with a vision to inspire and prepare leaders for the future while improving communities today. The mission of the program is to remain a leader in disseminating and supporting engineering and computer design-based service learning curriculum models, while building leader and utilizing long-term partnerships to meet the needs of students and local communities. Dissemination funds are used to support faculty training, program implementation, travel and resources to support current EPICS sites (such as curriculum and web based continuing training).

Service-Learning Workshops and Conferences $200,000 annually

A vital piece of the EPICS University is the opportunity for continued interaction of EPICS partners from across the US. An annual Service-Learning Workshop and Conference brings together faculty and staff from more than 75 universities that administer engineering-based service-learning programs in higher education (approximately 50 percent are affiliated with the EPICS program). The format of the conference allows for numerous networking opportunities and includes preconference workshops, Q & A sessions, interactive presentations and poster sessions. Attendees come away from the conference with a better understanding of managing a service-learning program in an engineering or computing curriculum, and instruction on how to become associated with EPICS University.

Multi-University Team Fund $50,000

EPICS projects have the potential to create an impact beyond a single community. The EPICS University program allows us to form teams with students from multiple universities and to have an impact in several communities. Funds would be used for student travel to facilitate multi-university collaboration and dissemination of successful projects beyond the original community partner. One example would be the successful partnership that currently exists between EPICS and Habitat for Humanity, which has affiliates in most cities where EPICS programs already exist.

EPICS High School Program

EPICS High was created in response to the successful EPICS model and is working to significantly impact the student pathways to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields by engaging them in pre-university EPICS design teams. There are 35 schools in five states piloting the program with a total of more than 1,760 students participating. Located in urban, suburban, and rural areas, over 85 percent of the schools have integrated the program in to their academic curriculum.

Naming EPICS High School Coordinator $750,000

The EPICS High School coordinator is the focal point for the national high school program. The coordinator directs recruitment and development of high schools, teachers, and community partners. The coordinator assists in teacher development, curriculum development, and provides personalized support to launch new programs and to assist existing programs to grow. Endowing this position is vital to the continued growth of EPICS High.

Teacher Training Workshop $40,000 annually

A vital piece of the EPICS High program is the four-day summer training workshops for teachers and administrators. Workshops are designed to give teachers and administrators the tools and resources needed to implement, build and sustain EPICS high at their schools. Workshop sessions include introduction to EPICS High curriculum, basic design, program management, teaming, program marketing, and how to meet national and state academic standards with EPICS. Future plans include regional development centers to facilitate greater teacher participation. These regional centers would have instructors who have been trained by the Purdue EPICS team to be professional development instructors in their area. Funding would be used to support the on-campus workshop, the development of regional centers, and to provide teacher scholarships to eliminate financial barriers for teachers to participate in these development opportunities.

High School Seed Funding $40,000 annually

EPICS is committed to expanding its model to high schools around the country. Currently, 35 programs in 5 states bring this important engineering-based service-learning program to their students. Statistics show that EPICS High appeals to women and underrepresented minorities, offering them an introduction to engineering, science, technology and math at levels not previously available to them. Many high schools across the country have expressed interest in EPICS, but are often unable to secure the initial seed funding to launch their program. The High School Seed Funding would provide the necessary resources for teaching training, curriculum development and project start-up. Funding needed is $40,000 annually or a minimum endowment of $800,000.

Curriculum Development $40,000 annually

Support of the EPICS High program requires development of support curriculum that can be used by high school teachers as they facilitate real design development with real community partners. Curriculum must be flexible to allow for the many variations that EPICS can take to meet the varied backgrounds of the teachers and the individual school corporation requirements. Funding would support personnel to develop, disseminate, field test, and adjust the curricular materials.