Asee peer logo

Creating Relationships With Industry To Advance New Programs

Download Paper |


1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.149.1 - 4.149.6

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Donald J., Jr. Fournier

author page

Cyndi Gaudet

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2548

Creating Relationships with Industry to Advance New Programs

Donald J. Fournier, Jr., Cyndi Gaudet The University of Southern Mississippi


The University of Southern Mississippi created the Workforce Training and Development Program within the School of Engineering Technology at the request of the State Workforce Development Council. In parallel, the School of Engineering Technology also expanded its Masters Degree program to include emphasis areas in Workforce Training and Development and in Environmental Safety. From inception, faculty members working to develop these programs recognized that building close ties with business and industry was important to the long-term success of these new programs. The authors adopted a four step approach designed to involve business and industry in the process of program development. The first step was to define the role that industry should play in the development and growth of the programs. The second step was to identify and contact companies which would be interested in committing their time and talent to program development. The third step was to actively involve business and industry personnel while developing opportunities within industry to augment student education. The final step was to cement the relationship with the industrial partner and to develop long-term commitments to program development. Within the first year, this approach has succeeded in developing solid relationships with business and industry. Members of business and industry have offered support by participating on the Industrial Advisory Committee, establishing paid internship positions, hosting field trips, hosting large group projects, assisting with networking with other businesses, and advising on technical course content. These efforts have combined to create a stronger undergraduate and graduate curriculum while being more responsive to the hiring needs of regional business and industry.


The School of Engineering Technology (SET) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) developed a Workforce Training and Development (WTD) degree program at the request of the State Workforce Development Council. This action was taken by the Council in response to industry demand for skilled training professionals with technical competence. This unique program affords students at the undergraduate level the opportunity to acquire technical competence in one of four technical concentrations (computer technology, construction technology, environmental science, or industrial/ manufacturing), as well as competence as a training professional. In parallel, SET also established two new emphasis areas in the graduate program leading to the degree Master of Science in Engineering Technology with an emphasis in either workforce training and development or environmental safety. These programs first accepted students in the Fall semester of 1997.

Fournier, D. J. J., & Gaudet, C. (1999, June), Creating Relationships With Industry To Advance New Programs Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1999 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015