Dear friends, alumni, and students,
We’re well into fall semester but we can still feel the energy of the new and returning students across the campus. Enrollment figures show that demand for a UIC College of Engineering degree is strong, and getting stronger. I am proud to note that, as our student body grows, the quality and diversity of students continues to grow as well. Each year for the last five years, we have set an all-time high for the average ACT composite score for incoming freshman, while the number of women and underrepresented students has grown as well.
Numbers are also up among our faculty, as we continue to recruit and hire outstanding people. We’ve welcomed eight new assistant professors and five new associate professors this year. This impressive group includes four recipients of the highly competitive National Science Foundation CAREER award, an accolade that provides five years of grant funding to outstanding early career faculty for integrating innovative research and education.
I believe that demand from employers for our graduates plays a significant role in this increasing demand from students to earn UIC College of Engineering degrees. In fact, over the last two years, more than 500 companies have hired UIC engineering students and graduates for internships and full-time positions, including some who have hired five, ten, or more people.
Because we are committed to extending student learning beyond the classroom, we are continuing to offer an opportunity unique to our College—the Guaranteed Paid Internship Program for incoming freshmen. Now in its third year, the program has placed every freshman who met the program requirements in a paid summer internship following his or her first year. This is great preparation for them to land additional internships before they graduate, which helps position them for satisfying careers. Our most recent figures (2014-2015) show that 715 of our students reported completing internships at one of 369 distinct companies.
Internships, wherever they may happen, help set the stage for students’ future professional success. Read more here about two undergraduate students who walked different paths to productive internships at the same Fortune 500 company.