In a speech given by President Obama in July 2009 on higher education, he stated “Business and industry play an important role in training the workforce of the future and meeting the on-going demands of the marketplace.” The President could have been talking about Oakland University.
Since its establishment in 1957 through a partnership with Michigan State University, Oakland University has leveraged its location in the heart of Oakland County by collaborating and creating partnerships with hospitals, Fortune 500 and International companies, individuals, cities, government agencies and other educational institutions. The University believes that these partnerships enhance the education it provides to students, allowing them to gain knowledge and expertise from its partners.
In the past five months Oakland University has announced three new partnerships with industry: Beaumont Hospital, Altair Engineering and St. John Health System.
Following the successful culmination of a partnership with Beaumont Hospital, the University announced the approval of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. A partnership with Altair Engineering has led to the creation of a certificate program in business intelligence and data mining, and the third partnership with St. John Health System was officially introduced with the opening of the Oakland School of Nursing Riverview Center. All of these partnerships have one important common element, the ability for students to gain practical knowledge and skills on the job. This allows students to use the knowledge that they gain in the classroom and apply these skills to real world situations. Additionally, in some cases the partnerships have enabled the students to expedite the completion of some degree programs in fields that are in high demand, such as nursing.
In February the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine was awarded preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The new medical school will provide students with instruction in basic sciences and research at Oakland University’s School of Medicine as well as clinical training and applied research at Beaumont Hospitals. Instruction is scheduled to begin in August 2011.
The new school will provide new medical education opportunities for students along with creating new jobs much needed in the region. The school will be privately funded through revenue from tuition, commercialization of intellectual property, partner contributions, research grants and philanthropy. “We are excited about partnering with one of the finest hospitals in the country to bring southeastern Michigan a much-needed boost in job creation, applied research capacity and opportunities for medical education for generations of prospective students,” said Oakland University President Gary D. Russi.
The School of Medicine will offer an innovative curriculum, providing students with the opportunity to learn in one of the country’s premier health care delivery systems. Training will include student access to a state-of-the-art simulation center. In addition, students will receive career guidance from the first day of medical school through small faculty-guided mentoring teams.
In January 2010 Oakland University and Altair Engineering established a partnership to offer students the opportunity to earn a certificate in Business Intelligence and Data Mining. The program is being offered to students who hold a Bachelor or Masters of Science degree in IT, computer science, engineering, business, sales, marketing, operations management, procurement or finance. A key element to this program is the internship students will receive while working at Altair Engineering, allowing them to apply the knowledge they have learned in the classroom to real life industry situations. Students are also trained in the use of Altair’s Business Intelligence HiQube software.
Altair Engineering is a privately-held company that specializes in product design, advanced engineering, and computing technologies, and serves automotive, aerospace and other industries around the globe. Altair’s headquarters in the United States is located in Troy, and the corporation has been a supporter of higher education for many years. Altair has donated engineering CAD/CAE software to more than 500 college and university engineering departments worldwide.
Through its partnership with Oakland University, Altair provides students with a 100-hour internship at its Troy headquarters, giving pupils real-world experience with data modeling techniques in a business setting. This complements the initial 60 hours of business intelligence fundamentals that students learn at Oakland.
When students complete the 160-hour post-baccalaureate program, they will have applied their knowledge of business intelligence theory in a corporate setting and can add the internship to their resumes as real-world experience.
November 18, 2009 marked the official opening of The Oakland School of Nursing, Riverview Institute. Located at the former St. John’s Riverview Hospital, Riverview Institute is the result of collaboration between Oakland University, St. John’s Health System and Focus Hope.
Riverview will provide accelerated second degree programs in the high demand field of health care. For example, Oakland’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program enables full time students to get a second degree in 12 months.
Additionally, Focus: HOPE and Oakland are partnering on a 16-week program at the Institute to prepare students for a career as a Patient Care Technician. The program enables Certified Nursing Assistants to expand their skill set to become certified in phlebotomy and electrocardiograms. Focus: HOPE assists participating students by providing career coaching.
To ensure students are experienced in the very latest in health care advancements, Riverview boasts two hospital-replicated teaching labs that include state-of-the-art human and critical care room simulators. Riverview will also offer a variety of workforce development programs including Patient Care Technician and Licensed Practical Nurse. The community will benefit from programs in healthy cooking, proper exercise, healthy eating, aging well, and health and nutrition workshops.
For over 50 years, Oakland University has used collaborations with others in the community to strengthen its curriculum, and the University continues to form partnerships that allow their students to benefit from this arrangement.
Just as President Obama emphasized in his speech regarding education, business and industry play a critical role in workforce education, and both students and employers agree that programs that allow students to practice what they have learned in a real work setting is beneficial to both the student as well as the employer.
Oakland University was created in 1957 when the late Alfred and Matilda Wilson donated $2 million and their 1,500-acre estate to Michigan State University to start a new college in Oakland County. Named Michigan State University – Oakland, the college enrolled its first students in 1959. The name changed to Oakland University in 1963. In 1970, the Michigan Legislature recognized the maturity and stature of Oakland University by granting it autonomy, and Michigan’s governor appointed Oakland’s first Board of Trustees. Oakland University offers 129 baccalaureate degree programs and 99 graduate degree and certificate programs.
Oakland University has been a Merit Governing Member since 2001. The university offers 802.11b/g Wireless Networking thru-out all major buildings on campus, with access to popular programs and protocols used for Internet browsing. Oakland University hosts Merit’s backbone node, which provides multiple 1 Gbps redundant paths for the Oakland University campus and other Merit Members attached to the network. Oakland University is also connected to the Internet2 network, via Merit’s network.