Revert Purdue Polytechnic Institute name to College of Technology

This petition made change with 300 supporters!

The Purdue College of Technology (CoT) recently changed its name to the Polytechnic Institute.

In the midst of this change, the current student body was not informed about the change until it took place in May.

Currently enrolled students expected to have a degree from the College of Technology. Many students do not believe the new name holds prestige and feel misrepresented regarding the decision making. Students feel the change is not in the best interest of their futures along with the College's future.

A large concern of the student body is that employers will be unaware of what the name "Polytechnic Institute" holds in the immediate future. The idea of the Technology school, from a student perspective, is that most Technology students actually become engineers in companies, regardless of the degree title. Now when a company sees "Polytechnic Institute," the word "engineer" is likely not what will come to mind.

The Technology name is believed to hold plenty of prestige. It is also believed that since Purdue is so reputable for engineering to begin with, Purdue does not need to attempt to re-brand itself. This action makes Purdue appear as it does not have confidence in its current programs, and desires to build something from scratch when its reputation should instead be upheld.

The other large concern is that the renaming does sound like a community college naming strategy. The Polytechnic Institute actually started out as a high school program that spread awareness of the Technology school and helped to grandfather in high school students, for lack of a better term. Re-branding the name is seemingly bringing the Technology school down to the level of a high school or community college education, which is obviously not true of Purdue. The word "Institute" is also not implicit of a 4-year degree. Many students believe the name resembles a far less prestigious program. 

It is also currently true of many companies, from student experience, that "Technology" is not desired in the engineering world. Technology students are frequently rejected from job interviews, company programs, and careers because of a "Technology" title. However Purdue has the top ranked Technology school in the world, yet low amounts of interviewing employers know this. If the Purdue Technology school was better marketed, then a "Technology" degree would not be overlooked as often. Purdue however has failed to spread awareness of this fact, but the Polytechnic Institute name may further expand the gap between technology and engineering. The fact is that the two disciplines of engineering and technology should be harmonized, as both programs have advantages and disadvantages over one another.

Market research and funding were responsible for the change of the name. Focus groups that were studied were said to show preference for the "Polytechnic Institute," per a discussion with Dean Bertoline, but fears are held that the market research does not encompass all company or student views. Entering the "Polytechnic" world may be an unprecedented feat for Purdue, as the future may hold some bright changes including the creation of new fields of study. Other reasons for change can be read on the Technology website at:

Mitch Daniels reported that the name is most likely going to stick, per an email sent to a student supporter. That being said, a proposal is that currently enrolled students in the College of Technology maintain their "Technology" degree titles upon graduation, as this is what every student enrolled in expectation of.

Ultimately, Purdue has failed to market the prior College of Technology effectively, but entering into the "Polytechnic" world may further disconnect Technology and Engineering.

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