Mark Kinney, vice president of academics and student services at West Shore Community College, was recently honored with an award for best session at the National Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration in New Orleans.
The award was given as a result of a presentation delivered in 2018, when Kinney attended the conference in San Antonio and presented as part of a session titled “New Courses in Engineering Technology.” Kinney’s presentation focused on his work developing a community college and university partnership while he was the dean for business and technology at Bay College in the Upper Peninsula.
“By visiting area businesses and listening closely to their needs in the areas of advanced manufacturing, my team was able to develop a degree pathway that blended a wide variety of industrial technologies into a single program offering,” said Kinney.
A partnership with Michigan Technological University (MTU) was then incorporated into the program design. By working closely with MTU and partnering on a grant funded by the National Science Foundation, Bay College was able to teach some of the same curriculum as the university and teach students on the same pieces of equipment. A transfer pathway was also developed so that students could seamlessly transfer their associate’s degree into the bachelors of electrical engineering technology at MTU.
“Working closely with industry partners to align their needs with our educational offerings is an important part of academic administration at the community college level,” said Kinney, “and that is something that I plan to continue now that I am here at West Shore.”
Kinney has already begun to meet with local businesses and has taken steps to develop a similar partnership between WSCC and MTU, including by co-authoring several grant applications that are currently in pending status.
Regarding the award for best session, Kinney stated, “I am honored to be recognized by the American Society for Engineering Education and the Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration. Creating exciting and valuable learning opportunities is something that I am passionate about, so receiving an award for a presentation on these efforts is unexpected, but very much appreciated. West Shore Community College is an amazing institution with a lot of great opportunities, so I am very much looking forward to my future there and playing a role in making it one of the premier institutions for student learning.”
To learn more about programs offered by WSCC, including those relating to manufacturing technologies, visit www.westshore.edu.