With the start of the spring semester, WKU-Owensboro launched an Engineering Tech Management Program. The four-year degree opportunity falls under the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, or SEAS, making it one of the first engineering degrees to be offered in Owensboro.
Instructor Mike Gross, who just started teaching these classes a couple of weeks ago, is excited about the future of this new major.
“I’ve been in manufacturing, including working with management systems for 30 years,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to teach in a university as a sunset to my career. I’ve always enjoyed that environment. I was an assistant in grad school years ago and now I get the opportunity to share my experiences with the students.”
Gross, who teaches two classes in Owensboro, uses IVS technology or video conferencing to teach students in Owensboro, Bowling Green and Elizabethtown.
“I like the fact that this school is basically right across the street from the technical college,” Gross said. “This is the beginning of four year engineering degrees being offered here in Owensboro. It’s an opportunity to eventually work in conjunction with the technical college to offer four year degrees.”
According to Beth Laves, Associate Vice President Extended Learning and Outreach, the spring semester started with 150 students on-campus and 400 served in the region with hybrid and online programs. Laves considered the programs on-site to be very strong.
“The students are my favorite part of working with the Owensboro campus,” she said. “Non-traditional students are so motivated and interested in working towards their degree. They have so many challenges, family work life and they are still meeting that challenge and getting that degree- it’s’ so rewarding to talk with the students and them.”