Purdue University College of Liberal Art

PICC students help design national poll

This past year, the Purdue Institute of Civic Communication (PICC) launched a new innovative course that engages students in the design, implementation and fielding of a series of national polls on civic competence— what Americans know, how they participate, and how they feel about the state of the nation. The result was a series of four surveys conducted from October 2014 to April 2015 with assistance from Penn Schoen Berland, which polled a total of about 4,500 Americans online.

Guiding and Assisting the students in their efforts were PICC Executive Director Carolyn Curiel, C-SPAN founder and retired CEO, Brian Lamb, Communication Professor Glenn Sparks, experts at the national polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, graduate students Katie Cahill and Robert Kulzick of political science, and Purdue’s Office of Institutional Assessment, and PICC’s Advisory Team of accomplished professionals.

The results of the poll were highlighted in the Journal and Courier, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Program, and as part of a formal presentation at the National Archives in Washington D.C. this past May. The students were introduced to the stage by David S. Ferriero, the National Archivist for the United States. The poll appendix and links to the Archives presentation can be found on PICC’s website.

The polls were conducted as an applied learning experience that required solid research and data analyses. As a cross-disciplinary project, the polls helped the students to better appreciate our nation's divisions, unity, fears, and aspirations. Congratulations to these students, and the PICC team, on their pioneering achievement!

David's Signature

David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean
College of Liberal Arts