Engineering Pathways presentation introduced by Dean Cameron and Tom Schrader, then two Engineering faculty, David Smith and Scott Banjavcic, spoke with great enthusiasm. Students have guarantee of admission to 4-year program at U of IL, takes away the most difficult process which is transferring. They have an orientation course which creates a cohort feel and pulls them together socially. COD has small class sizes, 35 or less for lecture classes compared with hundreds in lecture halls. Also far more affordable – save about $56k in four semesters. Available for all engineering majors except chem and bio engineering. Why UIUC? because top engineering school in Illinois with excellent job prospects for graduates. Why COD? we had sent them 600 students who had success rates over 90 percent, compared with typical one in three engineering students who don’t make it through. Students have to be full-time in our program because UIUC is saving them a seat (they have three years to finish here). Have to maintain a particular GPA and also log their study habits. COD faculty participate on admissions committee. No limit to number of students we take.
The program has had considerable growth in the number of applicants as well as the number accepted. Much credit to Admissions/Outreach for this. Working on getting high school students interested in engineering. Growing opportunities thru U of I for internships. Why is this program important? Shortage of engineers in U.S. to address issues of global population growth, medical needs, energy crisis, clean water.
Trustee McGuire asked if more women were entering the program. Yes. Started chapter of Society of Women Engineers. Looking at why women are more attracted to some majors than others.
Sec O’Donnell mentioned that she works with chem engineers and hopes it will be added so she could recruit for COD. There is interest from the dept at U of IL for this.