June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.536.1 - 10.536.9
Engineering and Science Institute: An Innovative Partnership to Provide Seamless Undergraduate Education
Hakan Gurocak Robin Terjeson Mechanical Engineering Engineering and Science Institute Washington State University, Vancouver Washington State University, Vancouver
Abstract: WSU Vancouver was established in 1989 and was mandated by the Legislature to provide upper division and graduate education. Undergraduate students transfer to WSU Vancouver following a 2+2 model where the lower division coursework is often completed at a local community college. An extensive survey of high school students in the service region of the university indicated that the engineering and science students are least likely to utilize the 2+2 transfer option. In response to these findings, the WSU Vancouver Engineering and Science Institute was conceived as a way to provide a seamless four-year experience. In this unique model, faculty from two partnering community colleges moved to the WSU Vancouver campus to provide the lower division curricula in Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Biology. The lower division courses were re-designed to create seamless four-year programs offered by the three institutions on the university campus. This paper describes the Institute and highlights its unique aspects as a model that can be adapted in other states. The detailed development of the ME curriculum is used as the example of how the partnership process worked over the past two years to create a unique program.
I. Introduction Technology industries have been driving Washington’s economy, providing forty percent of the wage growth in the past five years and creating thousands of jobs with a median wage of over $100,000 per year, according to the Governor’s “Closing the Technology Gap” report from September, 2000. The expansion of the economy in southwest Washington has been driven by a cluster of semiconductor manufacturing and related efforts.
These industries rely heavily on higher education. In addition to a workforce of employees with a wide range of skill sets and job functions, these industries require employees with advanced education in areas that are based upon higher-level mathematics and science; specifically engineers, computer scientists, and scientists. While Washington colleges and universities have made great progress, studies indicate that there is a shortage of workers with advanced professional education in these areas. Currently, the industry imports much of its highly educated workforce from outside the state of Washington. In addition, the expansion of these industries relies heavily on the research and development efforts of research universities for innovation and discovery.
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Gurocak, H. (2005, June), Engineering And Science Institute: An Innovative Partnership To Provide Seamless Undergraduate Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15290
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