History of Professional Practice

1928: Earliest recorded attempt to establish a formal Cooperative Engineering Education Program. The proposal did not meet with much enthusiasm on the part of the department head at the Board of Trustees meeting. Also, the “catastrophic economic conditions” made the program impossible.
1953: Registrar recommended that the possibility of initiating a program be explored. A committee chaired by Professor G.W. Bergren was created to study the matter.
1954: The first formal co-op Program started with the School of Mechanical Engineering with eight students and seven employers. The program includes 5 alternating work sessions beginning after the completion of the student’s first year.
1955: Civil Engineering joined the co-op Program.
1957: Electrical Engineering joined the co-op Program.
1959: By April, the program had grown to 50 employers with 161 students. Industrial Engineering joined the co-op Program during the summer semester.
1960: Chemical Engineering joined the co-op Program.
1964: Aeronautical Engineering joined the co-op Program.
1967: Agricultural Engineering joined the co-op Program.
1968: Materials Engineering joined the co-op Program.
1974: Nuclear Engineering, School of Agriculture, School of Management, and School of Science joined the co-op Program.
1975: Interdisciplinary Engineering and School of Technology joined the co-op Program.
1977: School of Consumer & Family Sciences joined the co-op Program.
1979: Nearly 1,000 students and 400 employers were participating in the co-op Program by the 25th anniversary.
1991: School of Education and College of Liberal Arts joined the co-op Program.
2003: The GEARE program begins with 6 Mechanical Engineering students sent to Germany for internships and study at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
2004: The GEARE program sends first students for internships in China and study at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
2006: The 3-Session co-op is initiated to provide employer and students with greater flexibility and more opportunities.
2007: The GEARE program becomes available to students from all engineering disciplines and has expanded language offerings to include German, Mandarin, French, and Spanish.
2010: The Office of Professional Practice inducts its first members to the Professional Practice Hall of Fame. The first group of inductees include James Barany (Industrial Engineering), Neal Houze (Chemical Engineering), Tom Malott (Mechanical Engineering), Fred Morse (Mechanical Engineering), Leonard Wood (Civil Engineering).
2012: Master’s co-op Program is initiated
2013: College of Pharmacy and School of Nursing joined the co-op Program.
2014: Psychological Sciences joined the co-op Program.
2016: The Office of Professional Practice begins administering the Interns for Indiana Program. Donations via the Lilly organization help establish an endowment to aid start-up and first stage companies in the hiring of Purdue students. 
2017: The GEARE program establishes a 3-part series of courses to enhance students Global Competence. Student growth is measured via the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Average intercultural growth amongst GEARE students is found to be 3 times higher than that of students studying abroad without global competency courses.
2018: Flex co-op Program is initiated
2019: The Office of Professional Practice begins administering the Milestones Program, a series of technical skills workshops offered to all Purdue students.  Milestones workshops include Intro to Electronics, Biomedical Instrumentation, Designing a Smart Watch, Finite Elements Analysis, Composites, CAD/3D Printing, Arduino.