USC Salkehatchie launches engineering partnership, scholarships available
by The Press and Standard | July 19, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: July 18, 2018 at 12:39 pm
Students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering have a new degree pathway with USC Salkehatchie’s 2+2 partnership with USC Aiken. Students complete the first two years of the industrial process engineering degree at the USC Salkehatchie campus and then transfer to USC Aiken to complete the degree.
By starting at USC Salkehatchie, students receive the same quality education as at any USC campus, but with the advantage of saving thousands of dollars in tuition, housing and fees. Smaller class sizes allow students to interact more with their professors and receive instruction tailored to their needs. Additionally, STEM scholarships are available to students who meet certain criteria.
The Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) are funding the program through the Workforce Opportunities in Regional Careers (WORC) Program. The program was established to strengthen the local workforce pool needed to support their missions, particularly in the Savannah River Site (SRS) region. The SRS Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) serves as the fiscal agent and provides coordination of regional efforts for the WORC Program.
“We are so pleased that USC Salkehatchie is a partner in this program. Our aim is to provide support for students interested in engineering and other STEM fields and give them the opportunity to pursue their field of study locally, with the objective of growing our own workforce that supports SRS and the surrounding community,” explained Mindy Mets, Nuclear Workforce Initiative (NWI) program manager for SRSCRO.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are in high demand locally and across the nation. DOE-EM and NNSA recognize the importance of developing these skills locally in support of workforce needs.
The WORC grant program is having a significant impact in the community:
• To date, at least 47 students from WORC programs of study went to work in full-time positions at the Savannah River Site. Many of these students were also involved with internships at SRS.
• University students from the region are presenting research associated with SRS at statewide science forums, which demonstrates a young workforce developing positive interest in DOE-EM and NNSA work.
• Scholarships offered to students through WORC provide life-changing impacts for many students in the community including non-traditional students, military veterans and first-generation college students.
Heading USC Salkehathcie’s initiative is Allen Kanapala, who not only has a passion for teaching, but also has over 10 years industry experience in both mechanical and software engineering.
“USC Salkehatchie is excited to offer this program at a time when the demand for employees to fill STEM jobs continues to increase. Our partnerships with industries located in our service areas allow us to provide opportunities for our students to interact with senior engineers who are experts in their respective disciplines. Additionally, internships are available for eligible students,” Kanapala said.
The industrial process engineering program prepares students to fill unique roles within any engineering division. Unlike the traditional paths where recent engineering graduates are required to work within technical roles which focus on limited aspects of the field, industrial engineers can work on broader challenges. Students in the program are exposed to the various topics in physics, economics, general engineering, production design and manufacturing processes.
This program will prepare students for industrial engineer or general engineering positions at medium to large-scale companies. The median salary reported for these positions by Salary.com is $65,543.
USC Salkehatchie also has opportunities for students wishing to pursue degrees in other STEM fields.
“There are multiple STEM careers that require the coursework offered at USC Salkehatchie. For instance, students can pursue careers in computer science by enrolling in relevant undergraduate coursework at our institution. If a student is passionate about a career in healthcare, we have an excellent nursing program that can be completed at our campus. If a student is interested in pursuing careers in mathematics or biological sciences, we have courses that cater to needs of those students, too,” Kanapala said.
For more information about the industrial processing engineering degree, please call 800-922-5500 extension 7475 or 803-812-7475.