Industry / ISAT
Industry Contributions to the ISAT Program
The ISAT master's degree program was developed under the direction of the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee, a group of Southeastern faculty and administrators and leaders from regional businesses and industries. These leaders represent corporations such as Shaw Constructors, Inc; DuPont Dow Elastomers L.L.C.; Borden Chemicals and Plastics; Nalco Chemical Co.; State Farm Insurance; Exxon Research and Development Laboratories; Novartis; United Companies; Beerman Precision; DuPont Chemical; Neill Corporation; The Advocate; Exxon USA; and V-Labs, Inc. It is to be noted that these fourteen companies are among the largest employers of science and technology graduates in Louisiana. Their needs have been a top priority and a guiding force from the very beginning of the degree development.
The Ad Hoc Advisory Committee has been involved at every stage in the development of this degree program. The committee met formally during the months of March, April and May, 1999, in July, 1999, with Dr. Richard Roberds of James Madison University, who was a consultant to the committee, and, again, in September, 2000, to review the work performed under the Sloan Foundation Grant.
Representatives from local business and industry on the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee have worked with the Southeastern faculty to design the core courses and to define the experiences and the exit-skills that they will expect of our students. They agree that employees need graduate degrees to advance through their companies and also to move from purely technical tracks into more managerial roles. These representatives also supported project experiences where students applied academic training and, at the same time, became familiar with work-place culture. Such experiences will take the place of much expensive retraining.
Members of the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee worked with Southeastern to collect data relevant to the marketability of the graduates of this program. A total of 51 companies and/or businesses in Southeastern Louisiana responded to a survey which was foundational to the curriculum development for the ISAT program. Respondents were first asked to rate how important various skills were for a professional position within their organization. Respondents indicated that the ability to change roles as project requirements evolve is the most important skill. Summary statistics indicate that employees need the following skills:
- Specialized computer skills and knowledge
- Recognize audience capability and design communication (spoken, written) to accommodate.
- Advanced mathematical skills, Advanced Petrochemical knowledge and Advanced Safety knowledge.
- Soft skills such as work ethics.
- Field exposure or experience.
- Competent Engineering skills, P.E., Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical or Civil Innovation and Team building.
- Common Sense
- Principal centered leadership, Human resources, Managing multiple objectives and deadlines, employee relations, and customer relations.
- People person, Integrity, and Ethics.
- Technical research, information finding/gathering; human relations, basic motivation Origin, composition, and scope of various H&S bodies (e.g. OSHA, NIOSH, NPFA, CII, ABC, AGC, etc.) Basic business insurance; basics of construction contracts (e.g.
- Agent-CM, general contractor, design/build, etc).
Skills Rated by Employers
1 - Not Important 2 3 4 5 - Very Important Mean Technical writing skills 0% 2% 12% 36% 50% 4.34 Public communication skills 2% 2% 4% 46% 46% 4.32 Information management skills 0% 2% 16% 36% 46% 4.26 Technical verbal communication skills 2% 0% 10% 28% 58% 4.43 Knowledge of information systems 0% 4% 10% 40% 24% 3.84 Knowledge of cost accounting principles 0% 12% 38% 36% 14% 3.52 Management skills 0% 0% 28% 32% 40% 4.12 Supervisory skills 0% 2% 18% 50% 30% 4.08 Ability to integrate knowledge and information from different areas 0% 0% 10% 38% 52% 4.42 Ability to change roles as project requirements evolve 2% 2% 4% 32% 60% 4.46