The Purdue Technical Assistance Program (TAP) offers a model of university engagement and service that is achieving technology adoption and performance improvement impacts in health care, manufacturing, government, and other sectors. The TAP model focuses on understanding and meeting the changing and challenging needs of those served, always seeking to engage a mix of faculty, staff, students, and others that best meet these needs. Although the TAP mission is focused on the needs of those served, participating faculty and students have experienced significant benefits, and faculty rarely decline an opportunity to participate. This essay presents the evolution of Purdue University’s engagement and service missions, and their alignment with the current thinking of engagement scholars and practitioners. The operational model for TAP is described as an important part of Purdue’s engagement mission, along with the elements necessary for its success, examples of successful engagement, and future challenges and opportunities.
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