Universities across the country are adopting Purdue's Cornerstone program

The Teagle Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities are donating $7 million so universities across the country can duplicate Purdue's cornerstone program.

Posted: Sep 23, 2020 6:24 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue University continues to uphold its promise of a well rounded education. The College of Liberal Arts developed the Cornerstone program in 2017 to provide students from all over campus an opportunity to receive a more developed liberal arts curriculum.

Now, universities are taking notice, and using similar models at different campuses across the country. The Teagle Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities are donating $7 million to the cause.

"It's more than we ever expected!" said Director of Cornerstone Melinda Zook.

Zook's mission was to create a program simply, and with the student's education in mind.

"They (other universities) can get students a better liberal arts education," said Zook. "That's all we are trying to do."

Students with a STEM background, or in a line of study that would normally not yield such coursework. 

"Taking a stop in the middle of the day to just kind of read a book, or just kind of talk with other students is a really great opportunity and I enjoy coming to class," said Nicholas Buffo, a first year engineering student at Purdue.

Buffo is enrolled in one of Cornerstone's first year classes, where he's developing skills that'll last.

"Way beyond college," said Buffo.

"Definitely I know if I ever have to stand up and give a presentation, it's developing those same oral skills going all the way back to Freshman year of college."

"It's kind of that first pivot, that first rung in the latter to life beyond college," said Buffo.

The Cornerstone program started at Purdue in 2017 with around 100 students. More than 2,000 are now enrolled in the first year, transformative text courses with the program.

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