Detroit Semester

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April 28, 2015

MSU Engineering sets ‘Detroit Semester’ to showcase downtown Detroit to interns 

The Michigan State University College of Engineering will be “all in” when it comes to Detroit this summer. 

"Today's students want the benefits of urban living. They already see it in Chicago. This one-credit class will let them see what Detroit has to offer," said Kyle Liechty. Artwork by Chloe Jennings.The college is rolling out a new “Detroit Semester,” offering a one-credit co-op course to MSU engineering students who will be working in Southeast Michigan from May through August. 

“The target is to have 50 engineering students working and living in metro Detroit enroll in this class,” said Kyle Liechty, co-op/internship coordinator in the college’s Center for Spartan Engineering. “Today’s students want the benefits of urban living. They already see it in Chicago. This one-credit class will let them see what Detroit has to offer. And if students see the kind of life offered in Detroit, they are more likely to accept jobs and stay in Detroit after graduation,” he explained. 

Any engineering student working a co-op, internship or career-related summer job with a company in the metro Detroit region is eligible to enroll. Affordable, furnished housing is available for the summer on Wayne State University’s campus on a first-come/first serve basis. 

“Students who enroll in the EGR 393 Cooperative Engineering Education course will participate in discussion groups, networking, and 12 events being planned for Detroit this summer. A co-op scholarship covers the cost of the one-credit class, and half of the registration fees,” Liechty said.

 

The Detroit Semester - Detroit based Engineering Co-op Experience

Garth Motschenbacher, director of the Center for Spartan Engineering, said cooperative education is the ultimate Partner in Education program. About 85 percent of MSU Engineering students do some form of experiential learning, like co-ops or internships. 

“The Detroit Semester is Detroit 101 in many ways,” Motschenbacher said. “It will allow students to see, learn and experience The New Detroit while helping them narrow down their career interests through their co-op, internship or summer job. MSU is partnering with After 5 Intern to give students both professional and social introductions to the downtown area.” 

Schedule of Events

  • May 10-25: Students relocate to Detroit
  • May 26-Aug. 20: Students participate in co-op experiences in multiple companies and locations in the metro Detroit area
  • Students meet weekly to discuss experiences, explore Detroit, network and participate in community engagement activities (including community service projects) and investigate engineering opportunities throughout Detroit
  • Students are engaged periodically at their worksites by the MSU Engineering program coordinator and their lead company supervisor and/or coordinator
  • Six events/programs will be planned and managed for MSU students participation only
  • Six high-volume events will aid collaboration efforts, such as a welcome to Detroit event with the mayor; networking dinner with Detroit-based executives, etc.
  • Each student will be assigned and evaluated on learning objectives (three-to-five employer assignments and three-to-five Detroit/regional experiences)
  • Aug 13: Students will give a final presentation of their experiences 

To facilitate activities, MSU Engineering will maintain an office from May through August in MSU’s Youthville Office in the 7000 block of Woodward Avenue.

“It will help us better engage employers, alumni, and summer co-op and intern students in the region,” Liechty said, “and will increase the presence of MSU Engineering in the Detroit area, ultimately helping employers better connect with their future employees.” 

For more information, contact Kyle Liechty at liechtyk@msu.edu.

"The Detroit Semester will increase the presence of MSU Engineering in the Detroit area, ultimately helping employers better connect with their future employees," said Kyle Liechty. Artwork by Chloe Jennings.