Kettering, Flint featured on East Lansing NPR station

Nov 12, 2013

President Dr. Robert McMahan appeared on WKAR’s Current State to discuss the school’s revitalization efforts and the importance of the STEM education model in Michigan.

Kettering University President Dr. Robert McMahan appeared on WKAR’s Current State to discuss the school’s revitalization efforts and the importance of the STEM education model in Michigan. 

Below are highlights of the interview.

Current StateMcMahan on the community vitality pillar at Kettering University:

We have four strategic pillars for the university. Community vitality is one of them. It’s important for us as an institution and a member of the Flint community to not be a passive observer, but actually to engage in economic revitalization and redevelopment activities within the community in ways which a university can optimally do.

The property acquisition is part of blight removal it’s part of the revitalization of a region of a city around the university, the university corridor, it helps us connect the university along the University Ave. corridor with the economic revitalization and activities that are going on in downtown Flint.”

McMahan also highlighted the longevity and success of the co-op model:

"Kettering is arguably the best example of the complete integration of experiential learning and co-op into an academic curriculum. So much so that the university is actually founded on those principles and we’re almost a 100 years old now.”

“We have a tremendously successful group of alumni that proves the model.”

McMahan emphasized that the co-op model is a multiplying advantage for students not only immediately after graduation but also during the tenure of their careers as those with the most experience are also generally the first to receive promotions and accolades in their respective fields.

“That (Co-Op) gives them a tremendous base of experience and a practical sense of how to apply what they do and you really can’t achieve in any way other than doing it. Learn by doing it in the very fundamental sense. As a result, our students come out usually with about two to three years of on-the-job experience and that’s an advantage that doesn’t fade over time. That’s a multiplier.”

McMahan also specifically outlined the skills that Kettering graduates have upon entering the work force:

“When I talk to companies and graduate schools that take our students, they universally say our students are head and shoulders above their peers coming out of any institution in terms of not just their technical skills, because we have an extremely rigorous curriculum, but also in all the soft skills that we talk about that are so important to actually using what you learn. Things like: working in teams, how to communicate, how to be a professional, how to operate as a professional in context. Our students come out, they are not learning how to be engineers or scientists, they already have two to three years of experience working in these environments.

Listen to the complete interview.

A complete list of Kettering's recent redevelopment efforts are outlined below: 

Kettering plays key role in Flint’s master plan process – September 30, 2013

Kettering efforts highlighted in EPA report – September 26, 2013

Kettering student helps organize ‘College Town’ leadership day – September 24, 2013

Kettering student collaboration provides a transformational foundation for St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center. - September 12, 2013

EPA grants will help in cleanup, testing at Chevy in the Hole property - August 23, 2013

Atwood Stadium to become part of campus - August 14, 2013

State-of-the-art, high definition security center unveiled - August 7, 2013

Kettering, Flint celebrate at 'University Corner' - March 22, 2013