KSU’s School of Technology to be a college

Rebekah Mosora

Both the university and students will benefit from the new categorization of the School of Technology as the College of Technology, administrators say.

The School of Technology is set to become a college administratively on July 1, 2006, outreach program manager Thomas Southards said.

“The College of Technology status validates student success, validates quality programs and validates employer expectations to meet national and international standards,” said Raj Chowdhury, dean of the School of Technology.

Chowdhury said students will have greater success in the job market as a result of the new college status. This new classification recognizes the state-of-the-art industry skills and knowledge that the technology programs provide, which is something future employers will recognize.

“We have done this only for the students,” Chowdhury said. “Students are the biggest beneficiaries of the college status.”

This new designation also will give the technology school more name recognition in the industry.

“Being recognized as a college within a university gives the educational unit a little higher standing and a little more recognition,” Southards said. “It also demonstrates the university’s long-term commitment.

“It gives us more connections with businesses and industries in the area and that means more opportunities for students in terms of internships and future jobs.”

The increased recognition will also enable the school to attract high quality faculty and students in the future, Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury said this is something the school has been working toward for about five years.

“Nobody treats you like a second-class citizen because you’re a school instead of a college, but it’s just an affirmation that the School of Technology as an academic unit has advanced to a certain point in terms of size, effectiveness, achieving accreditations and other criteria,” Southards said.

There are various aspects that combined to contribute to the new classification, and program accreditation is one of them, Southards said.

The School of Technology has pursued accreditation for all three of its programs. The accreditation process is complete for the applied business and applied science programs, and the aeronautics program is in the final stages in pursuing accreditation, Southards said.

“The redesignation from a school to a college recognizes the improvements they’ve made in terms of the quality of their programs as indicated by the accreditation actions that have supported that sense of quality,” Provost Paul Gaston said.

Chowdhury said increased enrollment and high student success after graduation also contributed to the decision. The school focuses its curriculum on addressing Ohio’s job and economic needs, and this results in strong job placement for technology graduates.

Other criteria for the shift included completing and solidifying the faculty structure and how it operates and pursuing additional funding in excess of tuition and state money. This additional funding often comes in donations, and the school is at a level where it raises about $500,000 a year, Southards said.

Gaston said this new categorization will bring the school added visibility that will benefit the programs offered and the students.

“The overall master plan for the last five years has been to build focused professional colleges around a large comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, and that’s what we’ve done,” Gaston said.

Contact regional campus reporter Rebekah Mosora at [email protected].