June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
College Industry Partnerships
Current industry demands of engineering graduates are changing, and higher education is not producing students prepared for these careers in industry. Through an NSF-funded Revolutionizing Engineering Departments grant, the disclosed university and its industry partners infuse students with professional skills early in their undergraduate experience to uproot this trend.
In Spring 2017, a year-long industry immersion program for top first- and second-year engineering undergraduates was driven into formation by the industry advisory board of the engineering school. This program entitled “The Industry Scholars Program” is in its second year and is still providing professional workshops, industry site visits, and internships for the students selected for the program. The students that engaged in the first year of the immersion program are among those who have opted in for a new pilot program that builds on their experiences in the immersion program. This new program is called The Industry Scholars Mentorship Program.
This pilot-run of the mentorship program is similarly driven by the guidance of the industry advisory board of the school and exemplifies how industry partnerships in higher education are vital to increased preparedness of engineering graduates. This program seeks to provide continued industry mentorship for graduated industry Scholars and foster organic one-on-one mentorship relationships between industry and students. The Industry Scholars Mentorship Program has been launched as of Fall 2018 and gives 13 third- and fourth-year students the opportunity to learn alongside a strategically matched industry mentor. This paper introduces the structure of the program, the developed programmatic elements, mentorship results, lessons learned from program directors, and initial feedback from participating students and industry mentors.
The Industry Scholars Mentorship Program could be a model for industry partners seeking to prepare and secure students equipped with both professional and technical skills. By the conclusion of Spring 2019, the first cohort of the mentorship program will be complete and final outcomes will be evaluated.
Przestrzelski, B., & Roberts, C. A. (2019, June), The Industry Scholars Mentorship Program: a Professional Industry Connection Experience for Engineering Undergraduates Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33401
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