School of Polytechnic Studies Highlighted in Southern Growth ‘Idea Bank’



June 20, 2004 – The School of Polytechnic Studies at Southeast Missouri State University has been highlighted in the Southern Growth Policies Board’s “Southern Growth Idea Bank.”

The Southern Growth Idea Bank includes profiles and descriptions of a cross section of government, business and non-profit organizations that are implementing innovative programs and new practices to promote growth in the South. The profiles are as varied as new programs to train and place the disabled into the workforce; strategies for increasing international trade and business ties to local businesses; partnering businesses and local elementary schools to gain access to new technologies; and recruiting youth from minority populations to participate in leadership programs.

The programs profiled on the Southern Growth Idea Bank are screened, evaluated and selected by Southern Growth program staff based on specific criteria — how the program helps to implement Southern Growth regional objectives; innovation; program sustainability; collaborative action within the public and private sector; and expected impact.

The Idea Bank highlights Southeast for using state “mission enhancement” funds in the late 1990s to build the School of Polytechnic Studies. It is housed in the state-of-the-art Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building at Southeast, and the School now comprises the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology and the Department of Agriculture. Today, Southeast has more than 600 students majoring in polytechnic studies, including advanced manufacturing technology. The post-graduation placement rate is among the highest on campus, with these students taking jobs starting at as high as $45,000. Many of these students also remain in the region.

“Southeast Missouri State University does many things to serve and enhance the region we serve,” said Dr. Randy Shaw, dean of the School of Polytechnic Studies and assistant provost of extended learning. “The School of Polytechnic Studies is pleased to be recognized for its contributions to the University’s efforts by assisting agriculture and manufacturing in the region.”

The Southern Growth Policies Board, which operates the Idea Bank, is a non-partisan public policy think tank based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Formed in 1971 by the governors of 13 southern states plus Puerto Rico, the Southern Growth Policies Board develops and advances visionary economic development policies by providing a forum for partnership and dialog among a diverse cross-section of the region’s governors, legislators, business and academic leaders and the economic- and community-development sectors. This unique public-private partnership is devoted to strengthening the South’s economy and creating the highest possible quality of life.

Inventive programs, such as Southeast’s School of Polytechnic Studies, that are listed in the Southern Growth Idea Bank, are featured on the Southern Growth Policy Board’s Web site and are featured in The New Architecture of Rural Prosperity, the Board’s 2005 Report on the Future of the South.