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Nsu @ Alliance

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.470.1 - 5.470.11



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Paper Authors

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William H. Dennis

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Jeff A. Risinger

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Thomas Hall

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

Session 2647

NSU @ Alliance Thomas M. Hall, Jr., William H. Dennis, Jeff A. Risinger Northwestern State University of Louisiana/Alliance Compressors


Northwestern State University of Louisiana and Alliance Compressors have developed innovative programs designed to meet the needs of both the local industry and the University’s regularly enrolled students. This cooperative arrangement has become known as NSU @ Alliance. Alliance began production of scroll air conditioner compressors for Copeland Corporation, Lennox Industries, and Trane Company in 1998. Its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is a key ingredient in the educational process of Alliance employees and full-time NSU students. NSU offers programs in four general areas: Technician Programs, Maintenance Programs, Team Leader Programs, and Engineering Technology Programs. The latter two can lead to a Bachelor of Science degree from NSU. For its part, Alliance offers a series of promotions and pay raises that are tied to the employee’s completion of specific blocks of courses or programs. In this paper, we present the NSU @ Alliance programs, their benefits for the university and for industry, and the innovative design of the industry/university relationship. Included are discussions of the teamwork used to develop the program and a description of the cooperative work experiences, research opportunities, and special problem-solving situations available through NSU @ Alliance. We offer suggestions for other universities and industries that may wish to develop similar innovative industrial ties.

I. Introduction

Distance learning is the current buzzword in education. In higher education, distance education is thought to be tearing down the brick and mortar walls of traditional universities faster than a wrecking ball. You hear comments like, “Everyone’s doing it, and if you’re not on the bandwagon, you’ll be left behind.” In the business world, corporate universities are becoming equally popular. “By the early 1980s there were 400 corporate universities. But the real growth occurred in the 1990s, when that number increased sharply to 1,600, including 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies1.” No longer is the training section a small part of the human resources empire, struggling to maintain its existence. Extremely tight labor markets and ever-increasing requirements for high-tech employees have heightened the requirement for full-fledged corporate training programs. Gone are the days, in the world of high-tech business, of simple “on-the-job” training in lieu of formal training. Also gone are the days of rubber-stamped college graduates who could be easily retrained for many of the jobs in industry. “Learning has traditionally been

Dennis, W. H., & Risinger, J. A., & Hall, T. (2000, June), Nsu @ Alliance Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8597

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