About PK-12 C​ouncil​

Purpose &​ Functions

The purpose of the PK-12 Council is to organize the College of Agriculture’s capacity to leverage its strengths in engaging youth through outreach and engagement efforts that address one of the five strategic goals of the College to “expand the pool of students interested in, and prepared for, careers in food, agricultural, life, and natural resource sciences.” The following objectives will guide the overall purpose of the Council:

  1. Provide a vehicle for communicating our PK-12 work to the campus council, giving College of Agriculture PK-12 work visibility. At this point, our College likely has one of the most extensive PK-12 portfolios across campus, but is also the most decentralized and likely least visible as a result.

  2. Provide a forum for better coordinating and levering PK-12 activity across the College. Look for gaps that provide new opportunities for innovation as well as connection to new PK-12 audiences.

  3. Serve as a portal to College PK-12 activities that others in the College can link to when educational activities/engagement are part of grant proposals and other collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts.

  4. Create a forum for sharing programs, speakers, and resources that are of interest to those who want to be engaged in PK-12 activities.

PK-12 Engagemen​t Spotlight

Why should we teach our kids economics? - A Purdue Agricultural Economics Podcast featuring PK-12 Council Representative Jeff Sanson​.

Jeff Sanson is the Executive Director of the Indiana Council for Economic Education (ICEE). Jeff oversees 11 centers for economic education, which provide professional development for over 2,000 educators. Jeff also helps K-12 educators use technology to enhance instruction in the areas of personal finance and economics.


​​​​​​Background &​ Development


​PK-1​​2 Council Members Jeff Rollins, Agricultural Communications​​, and Renee McKee of 4-H and Youth Development at the PK-12 Council's Engagement and Outreach Showcase.

Purdue College of Agriculture has been actively engaged with helping PK-12 teachers and students connect with STEM through agricultural content across many decades. In 2007, Dale Whittaker appointed a committee to assess the need for PK-12 engagement in the College of Agriculture. Natalie Carroll chaired the committee, which consisted of 8 members (Harla​n Day, Sherry Fulk-Bringman, Kevin Gibson, Becky Goetz, Neil Knobloch, Tom Turpin, & Rod Williams). The committee prepared and shared a white paper the Purdue Agriculture Leadership team, “Advancing the College of Agriculture’s Impact on PK-12 Education.” The white paper outlined four strategies with metrics. In 2009, Dean Akridge unveiled the Purdue College of Agriculture Strategic Plan 2009-2014, which outlined initiatives, actions, and metrics for five strategic goals. Strategic Goal #5 states, “Expand the pool of students interested in, and prepared for, careers in food, agricultural, life, and natural resource sciences.”

Vic Lechtenburg and Mary Ann Santos de Barona established a university-level council for K-12 Engagement in the Spring of 2010. Dean Akridge asked Neil Knobloch to serve as the College of Agriculture’s representative on this council. Dean Akridge initiated the PK-12 Council via a message to the Purdue College of Agriculture Administrative Council on January 23, 2011. His message explained the purpose of the PK-12 Council, and requested nominations for representatives from each department/unit in the College. He mentioned that involvement on the PK-12 Council was voluntary with an emphasis on organizing a group of people in the College who wanted to be involved in discussions about PK-12 Engagement.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


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