Location

Cheatham 212

Event Website

http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cuenr/index.html

Start Date

27-3-2010 1:30 PM

End Date

27-3-2010 2:00 PM

Description

The knowledge and skills needed by professional foresters is rapidly evolving as the practice is changing to respond to a broader set of ecosystem services and markets. Today’s organizations prefer to hire graduates that have a specific set of skills to address these new and evolving issues, however, it can be difficult for students to gain experience in all of the necessary areas through a traditional four‐year academic program. A cooperative education program is an undergraduate education with approximately 1/3 of the education component conducted on the job. The work terms are structured to have a learning component, and the academic terms are organized to provide knowledge and skills that students can use on the job. The University provides the technical and theoretical background, and the work organizations provide the rich experiences that give the education context. Efforts are underway to establish a cooperative education component of the professional forest management programs offered by the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. Prior to the establishment of this cooperative program, the College is conducting a two‐part study to assess (1) employer perceptions of the knowledge and skills that are needed by graduates in a range of professional jobs and (2) a student needs assessment to determine the knowledge and skills that are expected and desired by potential and current undergraduate forestry students, as well as the features of an undergraduate educational program that attract a wide variety of students to forestry programs. The methods being used in the employer needs analysis are on‐site visits, online surveys, and supplemental focus groups to allow in‐depth understanding of the survey results. The methods being used in the student needs analysis are online surveys and subsequent focus groups. The results of this study will be used by the College in the following ways: (1) to serve as a tool for the formation, prioritization and maintenance of College‐employer partnerships, including cooperative education, (2) to inform educational objectives, (3) to increase intentionality in curricular planning and advising to best prepare students for professional success, and (4) to better define marketing and recruitment strategies for the College. Researchers intend to present preliminary findings at the conference. At that time, the researchers will also have a preliminary understanding of the opportunities and barriers inherent in the design and implementation of a cooperative education program into undergraduate, professional forestry programs in a land‐grant university setting. We hope to consult with the conference group to validate our findings and obtain more information based on the collective knowledge of the educators present at the conference.

Comments

Citation: Kiser, J., K. Luukinen, T. Maness. 2010. Assessment of employer perceptions and student needs in the design of a cooperative employment program in professional forestry curricula. UENR Biennial Conference, Session Curricula and Assessment, Paper Number 9. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Cirricula/9/

 
Mar 27th, 1:30 PM Mar 27th, 2:00 PM

Assessment of Employer Perceptions and Student Needs in the Design of a Cooperative­ Employment Program in Professional Forestry Curricula

Cheatham 212

The knowledge and skills needed by professional foresters is rapidly evolving as the practice is changing to respond to a broader set of ecosystem services and markets. Today’s organizations prefer to hire graduates that have a specific set of skills to address these new and evolving issues, however, it can be difficult for students to gain experience in all of the necessary areas through a traditional four‐year academic program. A cooperative education program is an undergraduate education with approximately 1/3 of the education component conducted on the job. The work terms are structured to have a learning component, and the academic terms are organized to provide knowledge and skills that students can use on the job. The University provides the technical and theoretical background, and the work organizations provide the rich experiences that give the education context. Efforts are underway to establish a cooperative education component of the professional forest management programs offered by the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. Prior to the establishment of this cooperative program, the College is conducting a two‐part study to assess (1) employer perceptions of the knowledge and skills that are needed by graduates in a range of professional jobs and (2) a student needs assessment to determine the knowledge and skills that are expected and desired by potential and current undergraduate forestry students, as well as the features of an undergraduate educational program that attract a wide variety of students to forestry programs. The methods being used in the employer needs analysis are on‐site visits, online surveys, and supplemental focus groups to allow in‐depth understanding of the survey results. The methods being used in the student needs analysis are online surveys and subsequent focus groups. The results of this study will be used by the College in the following ways: (1) to serve as a tool for the formation, prioritization and maintenance of College‐employer partnerships, including cooperative education, (2) to inform educational objectives, (3) to increase intentionality in curricular planning and advising to best prepare students for professional success, and (4) to better define marketing and recruitment strategies for the College. Researchers intend to present preliminary findings at the conference. At that time, the researchers will also have a preliminary understanding of the opportunities and barriers inherent in the design and implementation of a cooperative education program into undergraduate, professional forestry programs in a land‐grant university setting. We hope to consult with the conference group to validate our findings and obtain more information based on the collective knowledge of the educators present at the conference.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Cirricula/9