3.1 Ian Sladen, Drexel University


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Topics discussed in this podcast include:Some details of how a major cooperative education university operates to combine academic and work-place learning after just celebrating its Centennial anniversary.In addition to taking care of the students, note was taken that Drexel as a co-op school also takes care of its co-op partners by providing them with year-round employees even if the person on co-op changes.Benefits to the students include more than in-depth on-the-job skills that can help them get the job after graduation, especially if they have not worked in high school on summer jobs as some 60% have not.  But they also learn at a more personal level building confidence and maturity – what some are calling essential skills – that allow them to better network, develop opportunities, and really test their intended career choice.We discussed the ongoing issue of integration of the learning from the workplace and learning in classical courses from the academy.  A focus is on using data to inform faculty and creating understanding of opportunities for that integration.  In this regard assessment of the cooperative education experience is critical.Also the Drexel Solutions Institute is a new effort to leverage industry relations, integrate with faculty, and solve business problems.  The new focus on skills is, of course, suited to a Drexel education and involves new federal efforts as well as local Philadelphia job-data-exchange project that piloted last year.Finally, we talked about coping with Covid19 and the alteration that has brought to all walks of life including Drexel’s co-op program.  Here the focus was on the entrepreneurship that co-op schools encourage as well as learning and being flexible, e.g. allowing virtual co-ops for the first time and learning how to manage them well. Even in an ongoing pandemic world, Ian asserts that Drexel students succeed … as they always have.Resources Discussed in this Episode:https://drexel.edu/https://drexel.edu/difference/co-op/https://drexel.edu/scdc/about/contact/https://drexel.edu/solutions-institute/Music Credits: C’est La Vie by Derek Clegg