Insight Days - Feb 13 morning engineering session

We are headed for our second trip to State for Insight Days. My son will be an ME major and we’ll attend the morning engineering session. Anyone else headed that way? We are from Kansas ( KC metro area).

I wonder if there is a better place to obtain information about MSU? This place is dead. Enjoy your trip raven2016.

If you find that place, please post it. Would very much like more information about Miss State.

Yea, I don’t know why that is compared to other college CC like Alabama. But I will report back on the trip.

You can subscribe to US News & World Report College Rankings, It has the info sliced and diced many different ways. For example, you will find that the national rank for the MSU College of Engineering is 98 (tied with bama…), but Computer Engineering is 95. This may sound low to you, but the fact that MSU has a rank is significant. Rankings aside, you find out a lot more by visiting. We weren’t really considering MSU until the IB Advisor at my S16 suggested. My son didn’t even want to visit. After we did, attending Scholar’s Day, we were blown away by: opportunity to be successful in school and in major, the beauty of the campus, the graciousness of the students, faculty and other representatives. They have a new cluster of dorms ranked in the top 5 in the nation that will blow you away. They have had their share of National Scholars (like Rhodes, etc). I saw someone describe it as a “little school”. I believe their student population is somewhere around 20K. That is considered large. If you want much larger than that, be prepared for HUGE auditorium style core classes… then ask yourself if that is ideal. Schools like MSU give you the traditional college experience that a larger city college campus cannot match. They are still in contention for my son, especially if they make it full ride. We are very close to that now.

Great info! Much needed for this site. This will be our second visit. We are visiting UA first and then State. We’ll end spending more time at UA so I am hoping the Insight Days will be really good and give him a great second look to compare the 2. Than next weekend it’s off to Ole Miss.

What other schools has your son considered?

@WeSayWarEagle Thanks for great info. I’ll check that out. We went to Scholar’s day and were impressed with their focus on working with their students and seeing them succeed too. (Really thought highly of the Honors program and dorms.) Miss State has made a generous offer to D which, coupled with heavy recruitment, has made it a strong possibility. Our local alumni group are amazing ambassadors for their school, and we continue to be impressed with the MSU student leadership group - the roadrunners, I think? - who might be the best student college recruiters we’ve encountered. Lots of correspondence, calls, etc,. . which has made the school even more attractive. Just all around it’s been a pleasant surprise.

Let me preface that we applied to way too many and I wouldn’t recommend it. We had no idea the undertaking… We applied to 12 schools with a mixture of state and private. S16 is pretty firm on Computer Engineering. Factors for us: Conservative leaning (some outlyers on this), Southern, nationally ranked engineering programs. The list: Auburn (my alma mater); Clemson; Duke; Florida; Georgia Tech; Kentucky; Miss. State; NC State; Tennessee; Texas A&M; Vandy and Virginia Tech. GT App was deferred, so competition is extreme there.

Agree with you that MSU student recruiters are the best we have encountered also. So far, we have all but food covered with the offer from MSU. We are still hopeful for more awards. Son did miss out on Presidential, which was a huge disappointment. He was accepted into Honors College. Our son loved it and we left knowing that if he ends up there, he will be in a good place and only 3 hours from home.

We aren’t attending Academic Insight, only because Scholar’s Day gave us a thorough intro to everything. I contacted our recruiter and he said we wouldn’t see anything new (although said more delicately). Who can go back and forth when you aren’t local? We are going to Auburn’s TALONS Day Friday and Honors Day at UT following weekend.

It’s nice to have the feedback on MSU.

Our trip over the weekend at Academic Insight was good. The Dean of Engineering spoke about MSU and all that it has to offer. They had a 2 different panels : one for students and one for parents, which was really good. Parents could ask questions to the dean, 2 current engineering students,and another associate prof. The potential students had their panel in the student union. I liked how they separated the parents and their kids. Than brought them all back together for a keynote speaker who was a former Aerospace Engineer student now working with planes associated with the Air Force.

All the engineers than broke into groups according to their major and toured their perspective buildings. This is where I become disappointed due to ME building ( Patterson Hall) needing a major facelift. I knew it was an older looking from the outside but the inside was…let’s say, needing some major work and upkeep. Of all the new dorms that have been built and the new ones they are building for next year, I am not sure why they have not spent the money on their engineering buildings on campus. It’s needed! I know a lot of $$ went into the CAVS facility, which is quite impressive but they did not show that off on Saturday, which I thought was a big mistake. We had seen that last summer.

Some interesting facts for ME from the Dean and academic advisor:

ME is fastest growing and largest at MSU
175 ME for 2015-2016
800 total
200 freshman for next year…ONE ACADEMIC ADVISOR ( a concern )
27% have a GPA of 3.5
Have to keep a 3.0 for scholarships
60% of all co-ops jobs are in ME - students make an average of $3800 a month
An ACT of 30 or higher - engineering scholarship offers that just went out it flowed into

Still don’t get too excited about Starkville. I think the university should have been built to flow into the city. It would be easier for students like UA and Ole Miss did.

They did offer S $3000 a year for engineering on top of other scholarship $$ so that is also a positive.,

Right now, I think UA is tough to beat. It does not seem like it’s 37000 students on campus and they are constantly meeting the demands of the students with facilities, faculty, and scholarships.

But we’ll see what S thinks after this weekend’s visit to Ole Miss and compare to what is going to be the best fit for him.

We have all but ruled out MS State.

We attended Academic Insight on Saturday also. Son is interested in aerospace. While there, Professor Green, who I think works now as an academic coordinator for the engineering dept, mentioned that if your student has above a 30 ACT and hadn’t received an email about engineering scholarships to contact him. My son has a 35 ACT but had not received an email, so I contacted him first thing Monday, and I learned from the secretary that they are using a new IT system which showed son’s scholarship app being received Dec 2 when “priority due date” was Dec 1.

I know that is incorrect because I submitted it myself and am very careful with deadlines. However, after leaving two messages for Dr. Green to discuss the mistake and receiving no response, I emailed Dean Keith who responded within a half-hour. He said they would research it and that someone from his office would contact me. Unfortunately, it was the unreliable Dr. Green again who contacted me with a rather snarky email about having a limited amount of money and that none of the other 5000 students who applied had any problems. I could go on and on about the overall problems with their scholarship app system (as son too applied to many colleges so have a basis with which to compare), but suffice it to say that it is over.
Very nice people at that university, but Dr. Green is not a good ambassador for them; you can tell he comes from a military background.

I would contact Dean Keith again. That’s just crazy and there is a mix up some place on their part and MSU should make amends.

What did you think of the actual engineering buildings? We toured Patterson ( ME) and I knew it was an older building but was really disappointed on how it looked on the inside. I am quite surprised they have not tried to upgrade those buildings.

I also thought they tried to “push numbers at you” and seemed like they feel they were a little above everyone else. UA and Ole Miss are more personal. They also are also in need of more instructors to meet the demands of more students. On the engineering website you can how many openings they are trying to fill.

I responded to the mistakes in Mr. Green’s email and copied Dr. Keith on it. Mr. Green responded to mine with a short email but more agreeable tone this time which said they apologize and will let us know if anything changes, but as of now, all the engineering scholarship money has been distributed. (which is what I feared would end up being the case)
The fact that the problem was not resolved or even handled professionally left a bad taste in my mouth, so we’re just going to move on.

Also, not as serious but still annoying, my son qualifies for the first year of housing free, and the housing rep tried to say that we needed to apply for housing by April 1 or he might lose the housing scholarship. I told her that the national response day isn’t even until May 1, but she maintained her position, until I brought the scholarship guy over to get his opinion, and he affirmed that since it’s part of his scholarship, he would not lose it after April 1. I think Housing really wants students to deposit as early as possible.

Regarding the aero part of the program, they bussed us out to Raspet Research Center, so we did not even see any academic buildings. Hmmm–I wonder if that was by design. At Raspet, an employee gave us a half-hour history of Raspet in the lobby (which was rather boring), and then we went inside where members of the various student design teams (Space Cowboys etc) were stationed so that students could talk to them until it was time to return to campus.

Aero didn’t mention any of the stats you mentioned were said about ME. That’s great for you that ME is 60% of their co-ops. Should have thought to ask that question about aero. I do know a biomedical student there who told me that she has been having a difficult time getting co-op/internship opportunities as most biomedical cos do not come there to interview.

We toured UA the day before, and it went very smooth. The only problem was a mistake we made when we went to the wrong building to meet our Blount ambassador. However, an RA where we were waiting called the ambassador to cancel her and gave us the Blount tour himself. Very accommodating.

Also, the honors ambassador that we had lunch with showed us an honors suite after lunch even though we asked him last-minute and had not originally requested to see one as part of our day.

Concerns with UA are what they have always been–aerospace dept there is small and very large uni that has grown perhaps too rapidly. One recent thing I’m noticing is that another huge public uni that my son was just accepted to seems to have many more support programs for new students than UA. Its engineering dept itself has more retention initiatives compared to UA such as engineering peer advisors, engineering llc with engineering tutors, more engineering academic advisors so that the student/advisor ratio is less.

One other thing I took note of is that the UA Honors College could not schedule an engineering class for son to sit in on as no professor got back to her. Interesting.

What did you think of your UA visit?

That’s too bad MSU would not correct their mistake. Really unprofessional.

I was very impressed with the UA visit. This was our second trip as we saw it last summer along with MSU and Ole Miss. The facilities are top notch and they continue to build and upgrade. One of the ME profs commented on that is one of the reason he came to UA was because there was always a crane on campus. I feel they are meeting the demands of the increase in students. It did not feel like a 37000 university and was very comfortable walking around observing students. It truly is a sweet campus.

We were supposed to sit in on a honors college class but the instructor had to cancel. But the best thing was that we came across a freshman ME/honors student from OOS ( Maryland) who was studying while we were waiting. So we conversed back and forth about UA. We also met one of the head ME profs and toured the ME facilities with an ambassador that is a eng/honors college student. We also met another ME prof who showed us the EcoCar and some students working on it. We also had time to just walk around campus and observe students.

My son is at Ole Miss this weekend for the Center of Manufacturing Excellence.

What is the other school that your son just got accepted?

Some feedback from some questions I posed for Dr. Keith:

My son and I and just came back from Insight Days. It was another opportunity to look at mechanical engineering at State. We had visited back in July. It was nice to see the development of new dorms, opening of the new softball field, and just being able to go more in depth than last summer. We thought Insight Days was done well, especially the student and parent panel, and the ability to break up into small sections according to your major.

The one concern we had was the engineering buildings. When we saw them last summer we didn’t get an opportunity to check them out from the inside. We spent time at the CAVS center, which is fabulous. I knew they were older buildings but did not realize once we got inside just how old and run down they actually are. With all the building going on, are these building going to get a “face lift” in the future? Are more things done out at the CAVS facility?

Also, with the increase demands of students in ME, are you able to meet the demand of the growth? I see you were still trying to hire quite a few professor’s and you have one academic advisor for 200 students in ME ( whom is a very nice person and works hard).

These are just some questions I had about State. Please don’t perceive this as knock on MSU but more just some questions about a school my son is seriously considering.

Thanks for your time,


Thank you for your email. I am glad you enjoyed the academic insight event. You are correct that most of the research from the ME department occurs at CAVS.

I have also discussed a renovation project for Carpenter Hall with some folks on campus, and we are working on a fundraising campaign. We are in the process of updating the thermo-fluids lab with the support of Chevron and the measurements lab with support from Dow Chemical. You may have seen the student lounge which was recently renovated as well.

The college also has several faculty searches going on, and some of the successful candidates may end up in mechanical engineering. The department head and I have discussed a few other ideas as well to support the growth in the ME program.