Wichita State's College of Engineering (CoE) is marking two milestones related to its ongoing effort to help grow the Kansas economy by placing more engineering and computing talent into the workforce; new graduates and a new space.
The college awarded 345 bachelor’s degrees in 2017-18, reaching more than 95 percent of the goal established by the University Engineering Initiative Act. The act provides grant funding over a 10-year period, starting FY 2013, to expand the number of annual College of Engineering graduates available to the workforce.
Sixty percent of the way into the ten-year grant program, WSU’s College of Engineering has already achieved more than 95 percent of the 10-year goal of 361 annual bachelor’s degree granted.
“This represents a tremendous amount of commitment from students,” said Royce Bowden, dean of the College of Engineering. “I am proud that for the fifth year in a row, students have earned a record number of bachelor’s degrees. Credit also goes to the faculty and staff, which provide quality instruction as well as recruiting and retention programs to attract new students and help them persist through graduation.”
To help continue this important expansion, Wichita State has provided new space for the Engineering Student Success Center (ESSC) on the first floor of P2 on the Innovation Campus, located just north of the Experiential Engineering Building. Space in P2 has also been provided to relocate the College of Engineering Dean’s Office.
The new ESSC location was recently opened and includes the GEEKS tutoring program, a classroom with a kitchen to host “lunch-and-learns” with industry, and office space and meeting rooms for student organizations and staff.
The timing of this new space is perfect as the GEEKS tutoring program has outgrown its room, and the ESSC has added additional student support programs. The new location will also bring students into closer proximity to industry professionals working on the Innovation Campus. Airbus has a building across the plaza, while FirePoint Innovation Center will be across the hall. Spirit AeroSystems also plans to move operations to the second floor of P2.
“We would love for members of industry to make it a habit to come to the ESSC, grab coffee, and interact with students to plan the future,” said Steven Skinner, associate dean of the College of Engineering.