A Study of the Interest in Cooperative Education Programs in Petroleum Engineering
- Robert L. Whiting
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 1963
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 611 - 613
- 1963. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.1 Well Planning, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 7.5.1 Ethics, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 4.3.4 Scale
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WHITING, ROBERT L., A and M COLLEGE OF TEXAS, COLLEGE STATION, TEX. MEMBER AIME
Herman Schneider, U. of Cincinnati, is considered to be the father of U.S. cooperative education, since he initiated the first known program in 1906. Schneider believed that a combination of industrial experience and academic study would make education richer and more meaningful. To this day, there are a few who will disagree with this observation. Recent studies by others have established that the combination of work and study:
1. Increases the students' motivation.
2. Contributes to a greater sense of responsibility for their own efforts. 3. Develops a greater dependence upon ones own judgment and a corresponding development of maturity. 4. Contributes to a better understanding of other people and the development of greater skills in human relations, helping to break down the segmentation of college students into a wholly adolescent community. 5. Helps to acquaint the student with industrial work and the function of occupation in providing the wide range of goods and services characteristic of our economy. 6. Provides the student with information relative to the range of job opportunities, qualification requirements and the potentials and limitations not only of his own field of interest but also of associated fields. 7. Makes possible higher education to those qualified scholastically but financially prohibited, and also to those who are skeptical of the value of "book learning" and of their own potential for college work. 8. Contributes to faculty development and improvement through close association with industry. 9. Utilizes more efficiently the college physical plant and faculty because of the rotation of students between college and industry. 10. Contributes to better understanding of education problems by industry personnel and provides a means of attracting and maintaining a flow of trained personnel who have been observed and tested during their educational program. 11. Contributes to a better understanding and recognition of a college's function by the surrounding community, frequently resulting in improved moral and financial support.
Only 5 per cent of the U.S. colleges and universities offering first degrees have cooperative education programs; however, there are thousands of students presently enrolled in cooperative programs in over 70 degree granting institutions offering such programs. Also, hundreds of technical institutes, junior colleges and secondary schools are expanding their programs in this area. At the university level, the great majority of programs are in engineering while those at the secondary school level are directed toward technical and commercial training. Although this type of education and process is fundamentally sound, its growth has been retarded because of inability to implement it properly into industrial and academic objectives.
Simply speaking, cooperative education is a process combining work and study as an integral part of the education program. Hence, it is implied that work and study will be alternated. For the student who is working his way through college in a large industrial city, this alternation may be on an hourly or daily basis. For example, he may attend college 4 hours daily and work an 8-hour graveyard shift. On the other hand, there are students having the same education objective who are going to school full time for nine months and then are working full time for 15 months. These two examples, however, must be considered as special cases, but they indicate that a work-study program may be established to fit any one particular individual. There are a great variety of cooperative educational programs in the U.S. at this time. In some programs, the student must participate through his entire college career, and in others, the student may commence his participation at any time. Some programs are open to all students, while in others, participation is restricted to honor students. Students and faculty who have participated in well-planned cooperative education programs agree that: (1) there is no difference between the creativity, imagination, realism, and social and cultural activity of cooperative and conventional program students; (2) there are few, if any, problems associated with the rotation between industry and college; (3) in most cases, one extra year is required to complete the first degree; and (4) this is not a disadvantage because starting salaries are higher for the cooperative education students than for those students with conventional education plus one year of experience. Experience has shown that cooperative education is not a cheap means of obtaining trained personnel, but it can be a highly effective one. Careful planning by both education and industry is required to minimize costs and to achieve the objectives of this type training. Both education and industry must be cognizant of the advantages of such a program. The representatives from these areas must be charged with the responsibility for coordinating the efforts of the participants. The primary concern of these representatives must be in planning a work-study program that will fulfill the requirements of the participants and at the same time serve the interests of the student. Of serious concern is the coordination of theory and practice, and the succession of job assignments for the student.
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