Academic Outreach

Academic and educational outreach is activity by Princeton University or its members that:

  • engages in the core educational functions that define a research university focused on the liberal arts and engineering – teaching, learning, research, creativity, and scholarship; and
  • does so in a mutually beneficial way primarily with individuals, groups, or communities beyond our traditional campus community members of faculty, scholars, students, alumni, and staff – especially with populations that historically have not had broad access or sustained exposure to activities that define a research university.  

Princeton University strives to be an engaged member of the various communities to which it belongs, valued for its contributions to the global body of knowledge and for its responsiveness to its local and regional neighbors. Outreach and engagement activities may occur online or in person, on Princeton’s campus, in the local community, nationally, or even globally. You can find more information about Princeton's current academic outreach programs here.

The Aims of Academic Outreach at Princeton

Participants in our outreach initiatives help define the educational goals and objectives of this work.  Unlike pipeline or diversity efforts aimed at changing the composition of the University community, outreach activities are not focused on recruitment to Princeton University.  Rather, outreach activities seek to share Princeton’s core activities with those who are not currently (and unlikely to be) a part of Princeton’s traditional campus community. In this way, outreach activities enrich both Princeton’s campus community and the individuals and communities beyond the University, allowing all participants to contribute to and benefit from engagement. 

Some types of academic and educational outreach may engage audiences, communities or organizations that are neither part of nor are primarily oriented around higher education, with no goal of changing that orientation. Other types of outreach, without serving primarily as a recruitment vehicle for Princeton itself, may seek to enhance broader access to the traditional model of higher education, of which Princeton is a part.  For example, outreach activities focused on K-12 populations or community college students may aim to expose participants to liberal arts and engineering education with a goal of increasing those populations’ representation in and contributions to traditional models of higher education. 

Fundamentally, academic and educational outreach aims to include a wider range of participants from a wider range of contexts in the subjects, methods, and perspectives of knowledge that Princeton and other institutions like it both employ and create.