BIGGER Bolder Brighter

ISE’s class of 2016 is the largest in the program’s recent history and brings with it daring new ideas and some impressive credentials

This fall’s newest collection of ISE students is here and with them come some pretty impressive qualifications.

Let’s talk size. The class of 2016 is the largest in recent ISE history with 90 incoming students, an increase of over 60%. In addition, the number of freshmen entering as first choice ISEs has doubled.

Let’s talk qualifications. The average GPA of our freshman is 3.57 on a 4 point scale and as impressive as that is, it is not enough. The pool of prospective students, approximately 300, is evaluated against each other by a three-person panel for the 75 available slots; thus ensuring the department of getting the best and brightest. This past spring the incoming class of students who matriculated into the major had over a 3.5 GPA in courses taken at NC State.

Let’s talk accomplishments. The freshman class contains two students with Park Scholarships, a prestigious four-year scholarship awarded on the basis of outstanding accomplishments and potential in scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Only 44 were awarded university-wide.

So why has ISE continued to experience this dramatic increase in enrollment? According to Dr. Paul Cohen, Edgar S. Woolard Distinguished Professor and Head “The increase in popularity in industrial and systems engineering can be seen nationally as the Institute of Industrial Engineers and individual departments have done a better job of communicating what ISEs do and the manifold job opportunities.” The increasing interest in ISE can be directly attributed to the unending efforts of our recruiting team. Lead by Dr. Anita Vila-Parrish, Director of Undergraduate Programs, and Jason Low, ISE Lecturer, the department always has a strong presence at all open houses, information sessions and the E101 – Intro to Engineering class. In addition, eight of the College’s Engineering Ambassadors are in ISE. The #1 reason incoming students give for their interest in ISE is the personal interaction they have with the ISE students, faculty and staff at these engineering events. “We could not have the recruiting success that we have had without the involvement of ours students-they are our best salespeople,” said Vila-Parrish. “When prospective students hear current ISE students say-I’ve had meaningful internships, studied abroad and know my faculty-they listen.”

These departmental groups work together to communicate the core message of the department, delivering a high quality, highly marketable education that students can use to pursue a career in a wide variety of industries. Moreover, graduates rank ISE #1 in the College of Engineering for placement and student satisfaction.

Although the department is experiencing unprecedented growth, the focus still remains on delivering a high quality, personal education. All of our required classes are offered each semester plus small lab sections and personalized advising still enable a quality undergraduate experience. To quote the late 80’s pop band, Timbuk3, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” We couldn’t agree more.