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Ottawa University Introduces Engineering Degree

Ottawa, Kansas - Ottawa University is pleased to announce the addition of a Bachelor of Science in Engineering to its degree offerings beginning fall of 2014.

By combining a liberal arts curriculum with the fundamental coursework in the field of engineering, students of Ottawa University's Bachelor of Science in Engineering program will participate in a powerful academic experience that will help them develop not only the technical skills that are expected of all engineers, but also the soft skills often missing from an engineer's education - skills that will set them apart from their peers.

Students in Ottawa University's engineering program will develop knowledge and skills in an array of liberal arts courses, core courses in engineering, hands-on laboratories, and practical and theoretical mathematics courses. Their educational experience will culminate in a senior-level design course in their final semester in which students are expected to apply the skills and knowledge they've gained throughout their academic experience to the solution of an open-ended problem. To gain valuable industrial experience during their time in the engineering program, students will be encouraged to intern at a partner engineering firm which will allow them to put their education into practice in a real-world setting.

Dr. Dennis Tyner is the founder of the University's engineering program and serves as its dean of applied sciences. "Ottawa University's engineering program will provide its students with an exceptional experience that immerses them in the school's highly regarded liberal arts curriculum supplemented with a mix of broad based engineering coursework," says Tyner. "The program will couple the strengths and advantages of a liberal arts education with an engineering education to prepare its graduates to consider the well-being of the world and humankind as they develop solutions to the technological challenges that lie ahead."

Beyond the technical aspects of the degree, Ottawa University provides multiple opportunities for public speaking, writing, and group problem solving throughout the liberal arts and engineering curriculum, thus equipping engineers with tools that prime them for advancement into leadership positions. This is consistent with market needs within the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) segment as outlined by Dr. Brian C. Mitchell, director of the Edvance Foundation, in a February 17, 2014, Huffington Post article titled "Show Me the Money: Higher Education and the Workforce."

American employers must be more clear about what skills they seek and will need. Employers value the ability to articulate, write, apply quantitative methods, use technology, and work in collaborative settings as the foundational prerequisites for employment. As such, they must become the most vocal supporters of a liberal arts education which does these things for them.
Pure and simple - it's what liberal arts graduates bring to the table. And, it's the value added that makes STEM graduates exposed to a liberal arts education outstanding employees.

Research indicates that within 150 miles of Kansas City, there are approximately two engineering jobs for every one applicant. When expanded to the eight surrounding states, the ratio rises to more than 3:1. The average starting salary for general engineers in the Plains States ranges from $50,000 to $73,000, compared to $35,000-$50,000 for graduates in most other disciplines. If engineers go on to graduate school, their entry-level earning potential surges by at least 10 percent.

The Ottawa University B.S. in Engineering offers students a number of unique opportunities that they may not enjoy at other institutions. For example, with a faculty/student ratio of 1:12, Ottawa University engineering students have access to doctorate-level professors who know them by name and come alongside them in their degree pursuit.

In addition, by helping students learn to understand people as well as systems, speak and write effectively, and look at things from multiple perspectives, Ottawa University ensures that graduates don't become engineers stereotyped as poor communicators and collaborators.

Engineering students are also encouraged to take advantage of Ottawa University's many opportunities for broadening their college experience, whether through athletics, theater, music, organizations, or ministry. These areas may also provide options for scholarships beyond academic aid they may receive.

"I was so excited to hear that Ottawa University is going to be offering an engineering degree next year, and as soon as it is available, I plan to change my major," says junior Ryan Kramer. "The options at OU are almost endless, so the introduction of the engineering degree will open up yet another opportunity for me and other individuals in a school that provides all the one-on-one with faculty you could ever want. That and knowing I will learn to communicate with people across lots of professions are two things that excite me the most about this major."

Ottawa University also provides students with a dedicated, four-year advisor who guides them through the college experience and helps them develop a personal LifePlan Narrative. The LifePlan compels students to examine and develop not only academic and career goals, but goals in other major facets of their lives, as well, such as health and wellness, faith, finances, healthy relationships, and identity formation, thus setting them on a path for success that goes far beyond a degree.

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Founded in 1865, Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution serving more than 7,000 students through its residential campus in Ottawa, Kansas, and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kansas; Phoenix, Chandler, Surprise, and Queen Creek, Arizona; Brookfield and Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Jeffersonville, Indiana; as well as international and online. For more information, visit

Paula Paine
Manager of Public Relations and Publications
Ottawa University
Phone: 785-248-2323


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Dr. Dennis Tyner



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