Peace of mind for parents

Jul 22, 2005

For one family, Kettering's co-op program made all the difference in the education of their daughter.

College is a tricky expense for most parents in the United States. It's not uncommon to hear parents lament how much an education costs for their children at a state-funded school. What happens when a child expresses a desire to attend a private institution? More importantly, parents often wonder if their child will find a position in their field after graduation and with the current shape of the U.S. economy, this question can keep parents awake at night wondering how they can provide their kids the opportunity they deserve.

But there is one viable option: Kettering University's unique professional cooperative education program. At Kettering, students have a chance to experience a cooperative education assignment in their chosen field and earn a good income while attending college, which significantly reduces the overall price tag. For Jennifer Grove, a 2004 graduate from Kettering University, the cooperative education experience she gained made the difference between landing a job and landing a career. She earned a Mechanical Engineering degree with a concentration in Bioengineering Applications and performed her co-op at Autoliv in Auburn Hills, Mich., which helped her "fall in love with the automotive safety industry. I'm proud to be a part of a company whose main objective is to save lives," she said.

Grove explained that Kettering's unique Bioengineering program and cooperative assignment provided her an education and two years of industry experience unattainable at other universities. Today, she works in Autoliv's Advanced Seatbelt Development group designing and engineering new seatbelt systems. After fulfilling her graduation requirements and posting her resume on Monster.com, she had companies calling her within four hours to set up interviews. In addition, when Grove interviewed with several well-known graduate schools regarding graduate studies, she said, "Kettering's name, alongwith the names of several of my professors, was enough to have the graduate schools call and inquire about when I was going to submit my application. That speaks for itself!"

For her mother, Teri Klunzinger, and step-father, Gary, who live in White Lake, Mich., attending Kettering University was an opportunity they encouraged Jennifer to explore.

"When Jennifer came home from high school and talked about her interest in Kettering, we were really excited," Mrs. Klunzinger said. "We have a nephew who graduated from Kettering and a friend from church, so we knew how successful the program could be. We knew that if Jennifer was serious about an engineering degree, Kettering was the place for her to go. The school's reputation speaks for itself."

The Klunzingers said that there is no other program that they are aware of that gives students the ability to apply what they learn in the classroom to their job. "We feel the most helpful part of co-op is the job experience," Mrs. Klunzinger said. "There is a definite advantage to knowing about working in the real world before Jennifer graduated. She was already accustomed to following policy and procedure in the corporate world, and with her job experience she was much more marketable after graduation than a student fresh out of college with no degree-related job experience."

This is particularly gratifying to the University, which continues to rank among the top undergraduate engineering schools in the nation according to U.S. News and World America's Best Colleges Guide. In fact, Kettering's Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering program ranked number one, the Mechanical Engineering program ranked eighth, the Electrical and Computer Engineering program ranked ninth and the school's overall ranking was 14th in its category.

To find out more about Kettering's recent rankings in "U.S. News & World Report's" Best Colleges Edition, visit http://www.kettering.edu/visitors/storydetail.jsp?storynum=474. To read the "Princeton Review" rankings for 2006, visit http://www.kettering.edu/visitors/storydetail.jsp?storynum=478. And for information on scholarships, visit http://admissions.kettering.edu/pay/index.cfm. Details about cooperative education, including wages, are available at http://admissions.kettering.edu/pay/index.cfm.

Written by Gary J. Erwin
(810) 762-9538
gerwin@kettering.edu