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Harnessing Industry Collaboration In Developing Graduate Degree Programs

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Educating Students for Professional Success

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.666.1 - 14.666.10



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Paper Authors


Shekar Viswanathan National University, San Diego

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Dr. Viswanathan is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied Engineering at National Universtity. Dr. Viswanathan is also the Lead Faculty for the Engineering Management and Homeland Security and Safety Engineering programs. He manages six full time and fifty two adjunct faculty members in the department which offers four undergraduate and five graduate programs with a student population of three hundred students. Dr. Viswanathan is an educator, researcher and administrator with more than twenty-five years of industrial and academic experience encompassing engineering and environmental consulting, research and development, and technology development. Career experience includes teaching at the University level, conducting fundamental research, and developing continuing educational courses.

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Howard Evans National University, San Diego

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

Harnessing Industry Collaboration in Developing Graduate Degree Programs


An unique engineering management degree programs developed by harnessing industry collaboration are described. This paper summarizes the step-by-step approach adopted in developing two specializations namely enterprise architecture and lean six sigma. The paper concludes by pointing out that these two programs developed offer significant opportunity for choice of specialization; exposes students extensively to current issues and practitioners; and which addresses needs of the marketplace.


Today’s competitive global environment requires professionals with expertise in specific specialized areas. Some of the expertise comes exclusively from industries. It is common to see collaboration among industries and universities on research areas. However, it is unusual to see academic programs developed in conjunction with the industries. The need for enhanced integration of basic fundamentals along with the application concepts, demanded by specialized fields, can be accomplished by bringing together viewpoints from experienced academics and expert practitioners. Over the past few years, developments in higher education have brought collaboration between the university and the private sector more and more common. The industry approach to professional development is based on the needs of acquiring, developing, and retaining a skilled and competent workforce. Universities, in turn, may benefit from the knowledge, ideas, and practices of real life outside the academy. Research findings showed that graduates greatly value the experience of learning in the workplace1. Kameoka et al2 through their research have identified a strong need to create a dynamic venturing between businesses and universities by supporting suitable education programs in order to develop needed talents. Gunasekara3 points out that the roles of universities have evolved over the last twenty years from simply performing teaching and research role to enablers of regional economic development. This requires the need for close cooperation between universities and industries in the development of academic programs.

This paper highlights the university-industry collaboration in the development of a unique graduate degree program with specializations in enterprise architecture and lean six sigma. Some initial insights gained from this collaboration are presented and possible principles on which to base future development are suggested. This paper summarizes the step-by-step approach adopted in developing a unique, relevant, and accessible master’s program in engineering management based on a modular concept with specializations in enterprise architecture and lean six sigma specializations.

Description of National University and Its Student Body Founded in 1971, National University (NU) is an independent, nonprofit institution of higher education. Since its establishment, the university has dedicated itself to providing educational opportunities to a diverse population of working, adult learners. With more than 22,000 full-time students, National University is the second largest private, non-profit 1

Viswanathan, S., & Evans, H. (2009, June), Harnessing Industry Collaboration In Developing Graduate Degree Programs Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5455

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