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Aligning Internship, Co-op, and New Graduate Engineering Rotation Programs to Improve Experiential Learning

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

The "Education" in Experiential Education

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.143.1 - 25.143.15



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Paper Authors


Eric Paul Pearson Northrop Grumman Corporation

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Eric Pearson is the Sector Director of Development Programs at the Electronic Systems Sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation. Pearson continues to develop new programs for recent college graduates in engineering across the United States, taking advantage of his broad background in engineering and education. Pearson’s expertise stretches from earning a B.S. in K-12 Education, taught middle school science for two years, and coached soccer, swimming, basketball and lacrosse for more than 25 combined ,with more than 25 years as a technical manager at Northrop Grumman, while completing an M.S. in engineering management. After a successful period leading the production transition of the Predator and the F-22 Raptor antenna programs as an RF Engineering Manager, Pearson returned to personnel management and leadership training program creation for early/mid-career employees. Pearson also serves as a volunteer on several boards of directors; Past-President for the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers (SoACE), Minority Engineering Advisory Board, and Electrical & Computer Engineering Advisory Board at North Carolina State University; and as a volunteer Adjunct Professor at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where he works with several student groups and speaks in engineering classrooms.
When not busy developing leadership programs or serving on volunteer boards, Pearson chases his passion for writing, having written and self-published Ryan’s Stories “Gods Perfect Child,” authored
“A Common Sense Approach to Leadership,” is currently writing a children’s book titled, “Oliver Travels,“ and has two other genre books in development.

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Timothy Boyd Northrop Grumman Corporation

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Timothy Allen Boyd’s passion for baseball connected him to Northrop Grumman. It really worked in that order. After graduating from the California Institute of Technology in 2006, Boyd started working in Azusa, Calif., as a Systems Engineer on the SBIRS program (Space Based InfraRed System). Since 2006, Boyd has not only been involved in performance analysis and sensor characterization, with a number of technical publications featured in various conferences both internal and external to the company, such as CalCon and MD-SEA, but has also managed technical teams and is currently Deputy Integrated Project Team Lead within the SEIT (Systems Engineering Integration and Test) organization. Furthermore, to address his passion for leadership and community building, he kickstarted a chapter of Connect1NG, a professionally recognized yet non-traditional development program focused on engaging and assimilating new employees to the workplace. He is currently one of three Western Region liaisons for the program. Boyd was also selected to be a part of the company’s prestigious LTP (Leadership Training Program). He has risen in the ranks of LTP, and just two cycles from graduation, planned and facilitated the two most recent offsite retreats, events involving 100 participants, requiring months of detailed planning and acute project management. An avid nature lover, Boyd’s hobbies include back country camping and hiking, as well as learning self-reliance in the wild. In his spare time, Boyd likes to cook, read, play the piano, and learn Urdu.

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Aligning Internship, Co-op and New Graduate Engineering Rotation Programs to Improve Experiential Learning It has become extremely important that engineering students participate in relevant industry experience prior to graduation to become sufficiently qualified as the next generation of technological innovators. Through a structured development process aligning Internship, Co-op and New Graduate Engineering Programs within one organization, _____ Corporation has been successful in providing significant relevant industry experience to current engineering students during their academic development periods while shortening the time a recent graduate in engineering is required to participate in a rotation program before feeling comfortable in becoming a long-term fixture in the organization. The _______ Corporation has a developed solid processes and experiencing successful early integration of university engineering students into the organization who become; assimilated quicker, demonstrate a greater engagement than most recent graduates, and offer more productive experiences, while providing a significant advantage over other corporations in the hiring process. The integrated program satisfies both the student’s and the corporation’s desire to provide relevant experiences while offering the ability for students to “try out” the corporation and the corporation to “try-out” the engineering student for full-time consideration upon graduation from either an undergraduate or graduate engineering program. To develop an integrated program that provides relevant work experiences while meeting customer and corporate goals, each of the integrated program elements must be; proposed and “sold” to the internal (hiring) organizations, be vetted as individual programs, and carefully aligned and integrated such that the organization embraces the structure and expenses involved in creating these early career development opportunities. The Development Programs Office has two customers in his scenario; the eventual hiring organization and the soon to be new graduate engineering student who will have multiple opportunities to select their 1st professional employment position upon graduation. After having successfully proposed, piloted and integrated a successful Internship / Co-op/ and new graduate rotational program in engineering across one the country of one Sector at _______ Corporation, the push for constant evaluation and improvement continues. After three months of significant research and development ____ will be extending the Internship Program of the Integrated Experiential Learning Program within the Development Programs Office to allow for part-time year-round positions for local university students to supplement the permanent workforce during 10 – 14 week internships during the traditional academic sessions.Aligning Internship, Co-op and New Graduate Engineering Rotation Programs to Improve Experiential Learning Professional Development Rotational Program (PDP) Co-op Campus Talent Recruiting Pipeline Programs Internship Direct Placement Hire (DP) Corporate STEM Programs WORTHY AHE scholarships ES Engineering Scholars Other special scholarships Referrals Unsolicited 1 9/16/2011

Pearson, E. P., & Boyd, T. (2012, June), Aligning Internship, Co-op, and New Graduate Engineering Rotation Programs to Improve Experiential Learning Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20903

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