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Ask someone to explain what makes Penn State uniquely excellent, and you’re likely to hear answers ranging from “Big Ten football” to “research and development” to “Greek philanthropy” to “agricultural innovation.” What you’re less likely to hear is “Outreach.” Although Penn State boasts the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education today, with programs that touch thousands of lives throughout Pennsylvania and beyond, most people aren't aware of that.
Penn State Outreach has come a long way since the turn of the century, but its mission remains the same—service to the people. Its faculty and staff are passionate about what they do and about the purpose of their work—to help apply the incredible research and knowledge at Penn State to meet the social, cultural, and economic issues facing Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world.
Never one to settle, Penn State Outreach continues to strengthen and grow the University’s outreach efforts through increased collaboration and coordination among all its units. With more than 2,000 annual programs offered through online education, continuing education, conferences, workshops and public media, Penn State Outreach helps improve health, retain and add jobs, create new products, advance careers, and enhance individual and family well-being.
Because of its unmatched portfolio of innovative and forward-looking Outreach programs, Penn State today stands poised to become the premier engaged university in the country—mobilizing its educational resources to transform the quality of life for individuals and communities.