WPI’s distinctive project-based educational model has been praised by the most recognized and valued resources in the academic world, as well as by those who know the benefits of a WPI education firsthand — WPI students and alumni.
While we’ve never had any doubt about the value of this method of education, we now have powerful empirical evidence of its effectiveness—an extensive study of more than 2,500 WPI alumni has confirmed that there are lifelong professional and personal benefits of experiential, hands-on learning through project work.
The survey also revealed that alumni who completed a project off-campus at one of our domestic or international project centers reported more positive impact than alumni who did not. This was true in almost all areas, with notable differences in interpersonal and communication skills, world views, and personal impacts:
Of the more than 2,500 alumni across a span of 38 years who responded to this 2012 survey on the impact of their off-campus project experiences:
These WPI alumni confirmed the findings of a 2014 Gallup-Purdue index poll that showed students who undertook long-term college projects report more career satisfaction and stronger connections to professional satisfaction, advancement, and personal enrichment.
The Robotics Business Review highlighted work by Major Qualifying Project (MQP) teams, ranging from an autonomous vehicle platform to a robot that can guide prospective students around a campus.
The New York Times featured WPI’s study abroad program, including students in Albania, Singapore and Kyoto, in this article. “This is about solving an open-ended problem in an entirely different culture, in an entirely different location without friends and family,” President Leshin told The Times, which referred to study abroad as a “boots-on-the-ground” experience with challenge and purpose.