Industry, higher ed form partnerships
Jul 31, 2015, 6:00am EDT
By: H.M.Cauley, Contributing Writer
Preparing students to join the…
(Jul 31, 2015) — Preparing students to join the workforce, and making that transition a smooth one,
is taking on increasing importance at the college level, spurred on by employers turning
to institutes of higher learning to educate future workers for the demands of business
and industry. The worlds of work and academia are forming partnerships to develop
courses and internships that meet those needs — a practice that has long been the
purview of technical colleges.
Link To Articlehttp://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2015/07/31/industry-higher-ed-form-partnerships.html?s=print
- Jul 31, 2015, 6:00am EDT
- By: H.M.Cauley, Contributing Writer
“These partnerships are essential,” said Debby Cannon, director of Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality. “We’ve got the think tanks, the labs, the creative
ways to put students and businesses together. With industries changing so quickly,
especially in the area of technology, we’re constantly looking at how we can use our
That same approach has set the statistical analytics program at Kennesaw State University apart from the competition for 10 years, said Jennifer Priestley, who heads the school’s Center for Statistics and Analytical Services.
“Everything we’ve done in analytics at Kennesaw has been driven by the market, which
is not a traditional path for academic institutions,” she said. “We went to the market
and asked, ‘What is the gap? What do you need?’ We have a responsibility to the taxpayers
of Georgia to train the next generation to contribute to the economy.”
Priestley met with executives from companies such as AT&T Inc., Southern Co., The
Home Depot Inc., Equifax Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. to determine what their job
descriptions demanded and to work toward training students to match those specifications.
“It was clear no university was training people to extract data, clean it, prep it
and analyze it,” said Priestley. “It was revolutionary to have a program that taught
those skills; usually they were taught across disciplines of math, computer science
and business. We came up with an interdisciplinary program that crosses departments
and colleges and reflects the demands of the market.”
The center launched in 2011 and provides students the chance to work on real projects
that come in from other university departments as well as outside companies.
The applied statistics master’s program has been so successful that this fall, Kennesaw
is extending the program into a Ph.D. of analytics and data science. Thirty-five students
applied for five slots, and more are expected next year. “Our program is successful
because we responded to the needs of the market,” said Priestley. “Every course we
develop, everything we teach, comes from business leaders across the Atlanta area.
And the university leadership understands that and has encouraged us to engage with
the business community, to get students out of the classroom and integrated into various
communities we’re affiliated with.” …
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.