New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Session topics: 1. Professional graduate education relevant to needs of engineering practice. 2. Innovative graduate programs and methods. 3. Graduate student needs and experiences.
Professional Science Graduate Program Revolutionizes the Educational Experience of Engineers
The Master of Science in Professional Science (MSPS) program at Middle Tennessee State University is a two-year graduate program that offers students a professional degree in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, and satisfies Professional Science Master’s requirements. It consists of six different concentrations, one of which is engineering management. This innovative program is the way of the future, and is designed to fit the unmet needs of today’s industry. The current workforce demands experienced professionals who are able to integrate science or mathematic expertise with proficiency in leadership, management, and interpersonal skills. It’s not only crucial to comprehend and understand complex research, but it’s vital to be able to communicate that information to individuals who may not possess equivalent scientific intelligence. The curriculum is structured to give students a competitive edge in the global market by creating a new breed of scientist that is able to bridge the gap between science and business. Many students find that searching for a job after graduation can be daunting, and that they lack the experience necessary for hiring. Completing this program and earning a MSPS degree is comparable to having 1-2 years of experience before entering the workplace. With 21 hours of core classes and 15 hours of business and managerial classes, students are able to expand upon their science education, along with growing their business acumen. During the last semester of their graduate degree, students are required to complete a 250-hour internship at a company that relates to their field of study. They obtain real-world, industrial experience, along with hands-on training, networking, team building, and educational opportunities, which aren’t always provided in an ordinary classroom setting. Students complete an exit interview at the end of the internship, and a staggering 70 percent report that they are offered a job from the company they completed their internship at contingent upon graduating from the MSPS program. Once students have fulfilled their internship requirement, they give a professional presentation to their fellow MSPS colleagues, MSPS faculty, and other industry employers who choose to attend. This is a great opportunity for students to showcase the projects they worked on, technical skills they acquired, and their overall experience as a real employee. This is not only a chance for the individual to practice and exercise communication and presenting skills, but also an opportunity for other MSPS students who haven’t completed an internship, to see what types of positions are available when they begin their internship hunt. This groundbreaking program is one of the fastest growing graduate programs at Middle Tennessee State University, and continues to effectively groom students to enter the dynamic job market with applicable knowledge, professionalism, and experience.
Foroudastan, S. D., & Danhausen, K. A., & Nihill, C. R. (2016, June), Professional Science Graduate Program Revolutionizes the Educational Experience of Engineers Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25971
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