A Moment with the Dean

A Moment with the Dean

Message from Dr. Debra Larson

September 15, 2014

College of Engineering Dean Dr. Debra Larson

College of Engineering Dean Dr. Debra Larson

This is an exciting time of year for educators and for many of us with fond memories of our school days. I get a great charge seeing all the students return to campus — the freshmen arrive filled with anticipation and even a little anxiety. Alongside these new students are parents and families.                        

Thank you, parents and families!

At the College of Engineering, we know that your support of your son or daughter goes beyond schlepping boxes and buying reading lamps. In fact, we consider you partners in the development of our future engineers. Together, we can transform anxious freshmen into confident, Learn by Doing students, who act and think like engineers.

Cal Poly is particularly suited to effect this transformation. A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on the nation’s manufacturing-innovation process noted that government and research-oriented universities originate basic manufacturing research and proof of concept for products. The private sector steps in to prove a product’s capability in a real production environment and to demonstrate productions rates. Between government/typical research universities and the private sector, however, lies a gap in which a new product or innovation must be produced in a lab and a prototype developed. 

That gap is the Cal Poly difference. That’s where our hands-on, project-driven engineering education provides an advantage. Our students produce new devices and technology in the lab; they design, build and test prototypes. And that process gives them the confidence to tackle new, unfamiliar problems. That’s what engineering is all about.

Parents and families, meanwhile, are the coaches and cheerleaders who can help us grow students into their own skins as engineers. We welcome your participation.

How can you get involved?

  • Attend a parent event. Our Computer Science & Software Engineering Department, for example, is hosting a parent event at the Computer History Museum in Mt. View, Calif., on Nov. 23. For information, contact 8095-756-2824 or sabrownl@calpoly.edu.
  • Parents of freshmen have been sent information about their VIP Parent Pages. If you have not yet submitted your online Parent Data Form, or if your student has another parent who would like Cal Poly news and information, please email ecoms@calpoly.edu

We’re looking forward to a great year. Thanks for being a part of it.

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