Former Congressman Steve Gunderson just toured ECPI University’s Virginia Beach campus and came away thoroughly impressed. Appointed president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) earlier this year, Gunderson is conducting a fact-finding tour to collect information on best practices among member institutions.
Said Gunderson following his meeting with faculty and students, “I am going to call my friends at the White House and ask them to tell the President that if he wants to see a university that really approaches STEM education in a meaningful way, that consistently produces graduates with skills desperately needed in today’s economy and effectively serves veterans and people of color, he should come visit ECPI.”
President Obama has made it a priority to support efforts to improve education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). ECPI University President Mark Dreyfus says previous government efforts, while well-intentioned, have failed to focus on what’s really important. “Every bit as important as the curriculum is the method of delivery,” says Dreyfus. “ECPI’s hands-on approach blends knowledge and classroom learning in a way that resonates with all types of learners and produces graduates who can apply that knowledge the moment they enter the workplace.”
With a large skills gap and many unfilled jobs in the nation’s increasingly automated manufacturing sector, many employers are now looking to educators to step forward and help them address a growing problem: with a significant percentage of manufacturing technologists preparing to retire in the next 10 years, who will replace them? Steve Gunderson believes schools like ECPI University have a great deal to offer. He says “we need to change the conversation and set in place a plan to meet America’s skill demands. If we succeed, we will not only heal our ailing economy but re-establish a vibrant middle class.”