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Mechanical Engineering Prof.

jmcclhjmcclh Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited April 2011 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
S is trying to make a tough decision between Cal Poly and excellent midwestern engineering program. How engaged are the mechanical engineering professors at Cal Poly?
Are they passionate about teaching and helping students succeed? Are they accessible? Any info. would help make a hard decision a bit easier. Thanks!
Post edited by jmcclh on

Replies to: Mechanical Engineering Prof.

  • LaLew5LaLew5 Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    My D has been somewhat struggling with the same situation for aerospace engineering, weighing the benefits of Cal Poly vs Purdue. I think she is leaning strongly towards Cal Poly at this point. We have heard nothing but good things about Purdue's engineering program (and have lots of positive family history with it), but since we are in state, have a son that currently attends Cal Poly, and my husband and I have experience in our jobs hiring interns from there, we have more first hand knowledge about Cal Poly. We (parents and kids) like the small classes, hands-on approach, opportunity to get to know professors, participate in research, etc. Their post-graduation hiring is very strong, starting and mid-career salaries rank favorably compared to other top schools in CA. My son has never had a problem getting classes for his major or his GE's (though sometimes he doesn't get prime times). As CA residents, Cal Poly is an excellent value - even though Purdue offered enough scholarships to bring her attendance cost to a UC equivalent amount. There have been posts on other threads about the Cal Poly ME program, you might want to do a search. Good luck with a tough decision!
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135
    My son uses this site to plan his courses, and contributes his reviews at the end of each quarter: Polyratings.com

    He's CPE, not ME, so I can't comment on the ME professors. He's had some excellent CPE/CS/EE professors. This quarter one of his favorite professors teaches Intro to Philosophy, despite the fact that the class is 6-8pm two days a week.
  • 33dmjjm33dmjjm Registered User Posts: 375 Member
    I am also trying to decide between a very good ME program on the east coast and Cal Poly. The scholarships that I received bring my OOS tuition to almost the same as Cal Poly. The two major differences are Cal Poly on quarter system and other school on semester. I know I would do a lot better with a semester schedule. The second difference is the other school offers a lot more flexibility in what classes I have to take, when I have to take them and switching majors. It is a very tough decision to make. I am also worried that with the state of the California budget Cal Poly will dramatically increase tuition each year. I am not sure if I will be able to major in ME and graduate in 4 years. The other schools has a 95% 4 Yr graduation rate in ME.
  • ParentalUnit58ParentalUnit58 Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    Are any of you able to attend the upcoming open house? That may help with this decision. You will be able to meet the professors and your student can visit the labs and play with some of the displays, speak with faculty and students, etc. My son is a freshman in ME. He says his professors in all subjects are very accessible and most really seem to care about the students. My son loves his ME classes and professors. He was on an even shorter system than a quarter system in high school, so he is ok with that. By the same token, there are down sides to this program. I do not think my particular student can graduate in ME in 4 years, although it is certainly possible. The number of units required is substantial, and my son is managing this along with other challenging circumstances (ill family member), so I have just accepted the idea of five years. My son applied to several other programs but really wanted to go to Cal Poly, and there were other reasons why it was the best match, so we did not have the kinds of difficult decisions that people describe here. The state budget is another wild card, but this will be an issue at any state school for the immediate future, IMO (I am a professor at a different state's university). Good luck to everyone.
  • HPuck35HPuck35 Registered User Posts: 1,629 Senior Member
    My son is about to graduate this June in ME from CPSLO. It will have taken him 5 years. ME department head stated that their 4 year grad rate was 15% in a meeting with the parents during freshman welcome. 85% after 4 years and 2 quarters.

    My son has had good professors in ME, available, willing to help, etc. His experience with the staff for the GE classes wasn't as good but a large part of the issue was probably him. He is somewhat introverted and I know doesn't always seek out people that could help him, even if he needs help.
  • genevasgenevas Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Was your son able to do any internships during his years at CPSLO, and do you know if there are any super difficult "weed out" type classes where many students drop the program after a specific course or set of course req's? as there are at the UC's

    Did he live in the Eng dorms his first year or two?

  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135
    Companies recruit heavily on campus for interns. There are job fairs at least once a quarter, and other informal recruiting events. It's very easy to find an internship especially if your grades are good.

    My son lived in Cerro Vista. All his roommates were in the Engineering college.

    I can't address whether weed-out courses exist, but it's not uncommon for students to have to retake classes. The best way to avoid being weeded out is to arrive with good preparation in high school calculus and physics.
This discussion has been closed.