Drexel University and Lockheed Martin announced on Sept. 29 that they are working together to nurture the engineering students who show an acuity for leadership. The corporation is partnering with the University’s College of Engineering to create the Lockheed Martin Engineering Leadership Program, a track of courses, activities, mentoring and experiences designed to help students identify and develop their leadership abilities.
"Providing Drexel engineering students with the opportunity to develop leadership skills as they progress through their undergraduate curriculum is not only worthwhile but necessary," said Joseph Hughes, PhD, dean of Drexel's College of Engineering. "These future engineers will be solving tomorrow’s problems. With our partner, Lockheed Martin, we have developed a program that supports students in acquiring a best-practices skill set in leadership that will continually serve them as they progress in their careers."
All freshmen engineering students will participate in the first phase of the program as part of their regular curriculum. Through class discussions, case studies and design projects, students will be exposed to the broader concepts of management, civic engagement, communication and other professional skills. Assessments throughout the year will help students to become aware of their leadership strengths and understand how to apply them to their career ambitions.
Students who continue in the program will attend networking events and hear from distinguished engineering leaders. They can also choose to participate in self-directed leadership modules on negotiation, communication, conflict resolution, strategic planning, marketing, innovation, creativity and collaborative learning.
As they continue their academic career, participants will be winnowed down via self-selection and external assessment of leadership aptitudes provided by experts from Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and its Institute for Strategic Leadership.
By their fourth year in the program, the cohort will number 40 students --deemed Lockheed Martin Leadership Scholars. This group will pursue highly competitive placements in Drexel’s Enhanced Leadership Co-op program. These co-operative learning experiences, administered through Drexel’s Steinbright Career Development Center, match top candidates with employers who are willing to offer additional leadership opportunities to their co-op employees.
"The competitiveness of the United States depends on a skilled workforce of engineers who are equipped to create ground-breaking and life-improving innovations," said Jeff Wilcox, vice president of engineering for Lockheed Martin. "As they cultivate critical thinking and interdisciplinary business skills with a strong technical base, the Drexel engineers graduating from the Lockheed Martin Engineering Leadership Program will be well-positioned to enter the workforce with the skills necessary for success in the 21st Century."
Approximately 1,000 freshmen engineering students will participate in the Lockheed Martin Engineering Leadership Program when it launches at Drexel this fall.