Engineering students voice concerns at Dessert With Deans meeting

Dessert with Deans, an initiative spearheaded by Florida A&M University’s Student Government Association, held its first meeting with The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

It is the first school to participate in the Dessert with Deans program. It is also the first time that the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering had an open forum for engineering students to get feedback from the college’s administrators.

The town hall style meeting gave students a platform to outline several issues within the College of Engineering.

Students, such as Jasmine Vanderhorst, a senior industrial engineering student from New Orleans, expressed frustration with being unprepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.

“Too many of the classes we are required to take do nothing but repeat each other,” Vanderhorst said. “I understand the value of hands on experience, but I really believe it would be better if labs were offered that were geared towards a student’s actual major.”

Reginald Perry, associate Dean for Student Affairs and Curriculum of the E-School, and other administrators of the college were disheartened to hear student complaints, but vowed to strive to make things better.

“All of our programs are ABA accredited, and a major component of ABA accreditation is continuous improvement,” Perry said. “With that being said, we are looking forward to making strides toward continuously improving our program.”

Representatives from SGA were present to serve as liaisons between faculty and students.

Tonnette Graham, SGA President, facilitated the event. The senior healthcare management student from Tallahassee, encouraged all the engineering students to help with recruitment of prospective students.

“In spite of the concerns you all have voiced, it is important to reach back to future rattlers and show them that you are the dream,” Graham said.

Students left the forum feeling optimistic about the future. Donald Mckenzie, a senior industrial engineering student from West Palm Beach, said, “I think this program was necessary, especially because it is something that has never been done before. It finally gave us a chance to put our problems on the forefront to speak about publicly.”

Dessert with Deans comes in the middle of a very contentious debate on whether FSU and FAMU should split and start their own engineering schools. The State University System’s Board of Governors reported that the potential split could cost as much $1 billion.