Since 1995 Illinois Tech’s IPRO Program has provided the alternative to a traditional undergraduate education. Our signature IPRO Program remains one of just a few programs of its kind in the country. IPRO joins students from various majors to work together to solve real-world problems, often on behalf of sponsor companies and nonprofits. A required academic program, IPRO teaches leadership, creativity, teamwork, design thinking, and project management—uniquely preparing students to succeed in a professional work environment.
Each semester culminates with Innovation Day, a forum where students showcase their team’s outcomes for members of the Illinois Tech community, sponsors, and public at large. Students prepare posters, conduct live demos, show off their designs and prototypes, and have the opportunity to speak with expert guests about their work—along the way developing public speaking and presentation skills.
IPRO: A Case Study
IPRO student teams have explored a range of ambitious topics. These include developing a platform for safe drug disposal, designing a net-zero community, harvesting condensate from HVAC systems to create drinking water for humans, and hundreds more. In one course (see video), students developed multiple creative solutions to address a physical condition.