ASQ - Education Division

Industrial and STEM Partnership Creates Engineering Student Leaders

Abstract: Bruce DeRuntz, PhD, Rhonda Kowalchuk, PhD and John Nicklow, PhD from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale describe an innovatie program for transitions community college graduate to bachelor degree graduates in engineering and engineering technology in 2 1/2 years. This paper is included in the Conference Proceedings for the ASQ 2012 Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference at UW-Stout July 16-17, 2012.

Abstract provided by the authors: Students, universities and industry are all struggling during these economically challenging times. Students face rising tuition costs, universities face a reduction of state funding, and industry has a looming shortage of future technical leaders. Developing industrial and government partnerships to support the development of America’s future technical leaders has become imperative. The Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s (SIUC) Leadership Development Program (LDP) meets many of these pressing problems.

The LDP has received over $1 million dollars from corporate sponsors and the National Science Foundation’s STEM program to attract and develop engineering technical leaders. The program has grown steadily over the past five years and has amassed a long list of student, university and industry accomplishments that confirm the program’s value.

The value of creating a student LDP resides with the principle stakeholders: companies, students, government, and the university. The corporate sponsor has hired 15 graduates, achieved an impressive retention rate and attests to the difference it makes with its hires. Students receive leadership training and a tuition waiver. Government is achieving its goals of producing more students in the STEM field and the university is able to attract more and higher quality students through the program’s incentives.

Keywords: STEM - Conference Proceedings - Training - Engineering

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