Request for Proposal (RFP): Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

Institution: 
North Central State College
Approval Status: 
Approved
Comment Period: 
Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:00am to Fri, 12/22/2017 - 11:00am

Comments

Comment: 
North Central State College offers the following information in strong support of our proposal to provide a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology. In general response to university postings: • The NC State proposal to provide a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology was developed in direct response to the legislature’s and executive branch’s desires to provide quality, affordable, transferrable, higher education which is accessible to all students, and which is responsive to the needs of the local region and its employers. • The law does not say that a degree cannot be approved simply because there is an existing bachelor’s degree program in existence somewhere else in the state. Instead the language says that the Chancellor may approve a program if the local workforce need is not met, including if it is not being met by another university offering a similar program. There is no duplicative program in the region, and the overwhelming letters of support and the public response on the ODHE website is strong evidence of that. • Employers in the area are in more need of applied technology degrees with hands-on experience, and graduates who are able to support production sooner rather than later. • The college has not posted its curriculum yet, and the curriculum will include calculus based materials • It is incorrect to indicate that community colleges may have issues with accreditation and licensure eligibility, and that graduates with applied engineering technology degrees cannot pursue their licensure. The state of Ohio indicates that the educational requirements for professional engineers include 4-year ETAC/ABET technology degree (which can be pursued after the institution graduates its first cohort), and graduates can pursue their licensure after completing 8 years of experience. We currently have credentialed faculty and intend to hire additional ones. In specific response to the University of Akron posting: • NC State petitioned the chancellor to switch from the northeast region to the central region as its location and multiple university and business collaborations are more pertinent. He has approved that request. • As published on its website, the Wayne Campus of the University of Akron does not provide completion of the B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology, so the effective mileage is 66.6 miles to the main campus in downtown Akron, not 50 miles to the Wayne Campus. • A comparison of tuition costs also seems favorable to NC State, even using Wayne Campus for two years of instruction: o First 2-years at NC State: $156.60/credit hour o First 2-years at Wayne/UA: $278.03/credit hour o Years 3 and 4 at NC State: $250.00/credit hour (Est.) o Years 3 and 4 at UA: $413.34/credit hour • This bachelor’s degree proposal is aligned to meet numerous local needs. Not needs in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, or Akron – needs right here in north central Ohio. Currently, the average age of students in the Associate of Mechanical Engineering technology is 26 years old, and the students are currently employed. Traveling for so many hours per week to complete their degree would be a barrier to their access and success. • NC State’s College NOW program continues to graduate over twenty participants each spring with an Associate Degree in Applied Engineering Technology earned while they finish their junior and senior years of high school. This program will allow graduates to continue their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree locally. College NOW participants are very well prepared for the transition into the new BS-MET program. o C-NOW graduation rates have exceeded 90% since the program was implemented. o These graduates are getting good jobs, transferring to pursue advanced degrees, or both. o Students will know the facilities and could continue to commute and/or work while completing their studies toward a Bachelor’s Degree. • The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology is being developed in conjunction with local business owners, managers, and leaders to meet their employment needs. The overwhelming letters of support, and the public response on the ODHE website is strong evidence of that. • The data cited by The University of Akron is taken from an ODHE report that was specifically produced in an attempt to provide a more accurate measure of success for two-year campuses as compared to the more traditional graduation measurements that have been focused exclusively on institutions whose business model is built around primarily serving full-time students. The conclusion of the ODHE report was to say that the REAL three-year success rate of North Central State Community College is 39%. To cite only the 12% graduation rate from that report is either purposefully or inadvertently misleading. While 94% of the freshman class at the University of Akron does enroll as full time students according to ODHE data, only 27% of North Central State students are able to attend full time for a wide variety of personal reasons. We would be happy to provide numerous examples of students who took longer than three years to complete their degree because they were raising a family, working to support a family, or caring for a beloved family member. Regardless of their journey, when these part-time students do eventually graduate, they are nothing but success stories. Their achievements should be celebrated, especially in fulfillment of the state goal of having 65% of adults have some level of higher education by 2025. We, institutions of higher education, all have the same mission of raising educational attainment in our great state; to help people get better jobs, improve their standard of living and their quality of life, in a highly technical and competitive world. Let us work together to make it happen.

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