(KTSF by Sean Au) American universities produce about 12,000 engineering graduates every year. And, President Obama wants this number increased to 13,000. As part of a nationwide effort to halt the decline in qualified engineering students, the Obama administration launches the “Stay With It’ program to encourage engineering undergraduates to complete their studies.
At Santa Clara University, more than a hundred engineering students watched the Face book ‘live’ webcast featuring technology company executives, through their laptops, iPads and smart phones. The theme of the forum was to encourage engineering students to finish their studies. Some students say the main challenge for them is the wide range of subjects they have to study. Statistics show that only 45% of engineering students in private universities graduate. This number falls to 22% in public schools. Santa Clara University’s 66% graduation rate is a figure even lauded by the White House.
Santa Clara University Engineering department dean Godfrey Mungal says that most students have to study drier subjects like mathematics and physics in the first two years. Most students only get to the more interesting hands-on aspects in their third year of college. The faculty has decided to move some of these hands-on subjects to the first two years and is also encouraging students to take up internships in Silicon Valley companies. Professor Mungal adds that their small class sizes also helps foster a more intimate connection with the faculty.
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