Inside OSUIT: Valuing People

Inside OSUIT: Valuing People

Dr. Bill R. Path
Inside OSUIT: Valuing People

In the heart of campus, there’s a green space nestled between the Student Union and several classroom buildings. Four sidewalks merge there at a large circular plaza made of brick pavers. In the center of that plaza, there is a three-sided brick obelisk with a masonry bench encircling its base. This is the Campus Bell Tower, and it tells an important story about OSUIT. Around the base of the tower, there are four words inscribed in large letters… People, Technology, Jobs, and Learning. These words are absolutely central to the Value Statement of OSUIT which reads, “We value excellence and integrity in people, technology, jobs, and learning.” At OSUIT, these are the four areas we choose to promote and where we make our investments.

One of the primary reasons why OSUIT is so successful at placing graduates directly into the skilled labor workforce is because we hire the right people to teach our courses. Before I proceed, let me clarify that OSUIT definitely considers academic qualifications when we hire faculty members, especially in our School of Arts, Sciences & Health, but while most colleges and universities are looking to hire instructors with advanced teaching experience, OSUIT often seeks to hire instructors with advanced industry experience instead. Consequently, most of our faculty members are not professional teachers, they are professionals who teach. We believe this distinction sets us apart and benefits our students and technical programs. Employers who repeatedly hire our graduates tell us they value our “no nonsense” approach to training that’s reflected in the professionals we hire to teach our classes.

Our students have come to expect a certain caliber of technical instructor at OSUIT—someone who speaks with authority from personal experience. Students don’t want someone trying to teach them a technical procedure who has only read about the procedure in a textbook or merely watched a tutorial video about the technique. Technical students are best trained by instructors with firsthand technical knowledge and who remain up-to-date with industry certifications and standards. This is why we choose to hire instructors with impeccable industry credentials.

Oftentimes, a new instructor in one of our technical programs comes to OSUIT with decades of corporate experience but little or no experience in the classroom. They come to us with a complete working knowledge of the tools, technology, and terminology of their industry and they are ready to share that knowledge with the next generation of technicians in training. We can teach a person how to teach (in fact, we have established The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning on our campus for this very purpose), but we cannot teach a person the equivalent of a career’s worth of first hand, working knowledge about their industry. Such knowledge only comes with real world experience, and we value this kind of experience in the people we hire at OSUIT.

People, Technology, Jobs and Learning

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