Fri, Jan 13 2017
LeTourneau University signed a Memorandum of Agreement Friday for a new public/private/corporate partnership with Iowa State University and Eastman Chemical.
The new agreement will provide a pathway for LETU chemistry students to enter a graduate program at Iowa State to earn a Master of Chemical Engineering degree, while receiving support and mentoring from corporate partner Eastman Chemical in Longview.
“In this new partnership, qualified undergraduates from LeTourneau University will gain early entry in the Masters of Engineering in Chemical Engineering program at Iowa State University and be able to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with an engineering concentration from LETU and a Master of Chemical Engineering from Iowa State—in only five years,” said LETU Dean of Education, Arts and Sciences Dr. Larry Frazier.
Frazier said this program may be the first chemical engineering degree program pathway in East Texas.
Frazier said the partnership came about after one of the university’s professors took students to the Ames Laboratory for research internships. “The chemical engineering faculty at Iowa State University were so impressed by the high quality of our students, they approached us to create this program that would lead our students to graduate studies at Iowa State,” Frazier said.
LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford said the participation of Eastman Chemical of Longview is an integral part of this new partnership.
“As we developed this partnership, we realized we needed input from industry, so we turned to our friends at Eastman Chemical,” Lunsford said. “Their leadership met with our faculty and dean and agreed to join in an advisory and supportive role to help us ensure we are preparing chemical engineers who will flourish in a manufacturing setting. Their partnership will provide our students valuable, real-world insights into a career in chemical engineering. We wanted to ensure that our students are as ready as possible to enter industry.”
Eastman Chemical will review curriculum, and provide opportunities for internships and foster connections with Eastman employees to serve as guest lecturers in LETU classes and serve as industry mentors for LETU students. Eastman will also permit LETU students and faculty to observe training at Eastman, especially in the area of industrial safety. LETU will connect faculty and student expertise to research projects that are of interest to Eastman.
Lunsford said the new program addresses affordability and accessibility, allowing students to achieve a master’s degree in a shorter timeframe than normal — five years instead of six years. Iowa State is agreeing to accept LETU students to transfer in and reverse-transfer graduate course credits to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements at LeTourneau — providing a type of dual credit for completion of graduate courses to apply toward undergraduate requirements.
“This new program will feature the hallmarks of an LETU education: rigorous academics, hands-on application and a focus on the integration of faith and learning,” Lunsford said. “We see this as a significant value for LeTourneau students.”
LeTourneau University is the Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in Dallas and Houston.