The Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP) at Oregon Institute of Technology demonstrates the power of an effective business/education partnership.
The source of strength for the program is the imaginative ideas they are founded upon: support by a voluntary annual assessment on member companies; a high order of industry interaction with the higher education systems and its students; and continual improvement as the educational institution adjusts its curriculum on recommendations made by the industry partners.
Five-Year Degree/Two Six-Month Internships
Much discussion has evolved around the inability of major universities to provide an adequate education in engineering in a four-year program. Economic limitations hinder their ability to keep up with state-of-the-art technology. With this in mind, we feel we are providing the best of both worlds the University for the technical/theoretical background, and selected industries for the practical, state-of-the-art applications. Our goal is to supply the Northwest with the best engineers with the necessary tools to be true contributors in their chosen fields.
Each company appoints a representative to serve on the MECOP Advisory Board. The board serves a vital role for the program. The board members develop, help manage, and actively participate in all program activities. These activities include but are not limited to curriculum development, financial support, student selection, development of internship sites, placement of students into internships, and promotion of MECOP.
The Program Coordinator, Prof. Brian Moravec, is responsible for the implementation and administration of the program. It is a full-time position supported by the MECOP Board. This method insures accountability to both industry and Oregon Tech, and promotes a balance between the two interests.
Each Full Board member pays a fee to the program, depending on the size of the company. This amount is determined by the board, and the funds are used to support the Program Coordinators position, along with administrative and other expenses which are incurred in cooperative programs of this nature.
Students are selected into the program through two screening processes. First, they are screened academically in their sophomore year. This is primarily an effort to ensure that students are academically qualified to take upper-division courses. A second screening takes place through an interview process during which all members of the MECOP Board interview the students applying for the program. The goal of this screening is to make every effort to ensure that the students are qualified and ready for future internship placement.
Begin lower division course work.
Complete lower division course work. Apply and interview for MECOP at the end of the year.
Attend MECOP seminar. Begin upper division course work. Interview for first internship. Work for one of the MECOP companies spring and summer.
Attend MECOP seminar. Continue upper division course work. Interview for second internship. Work for a second MECOP company summer and fall.
Attend MECOP seminar. Complete upper division course work and receive Bachelor of Science degree.