May 08, 2018
Cal Poly graduates see greater opportunities through the college's partnership with Granite.
Read original story in Engineering Advantage.
Cal Poly's College of Engineering and College of Architecture and Environmental Design have launched a unique partnership with Granite Construction to create a more robust pipeline of diverse Cal Poly graduates skilled in both construction management and civil engineering.
“This new partnership creates a path forward for talented and motivated students by helping them overcome financial barriers with the support of industry leaders and future thinkers,” said James Meagher, interim dean of the College of Engineering.
“It will also bring together two of our most reputable programs in a way that will supply distinctively skilled graduates to the industry.”
The Granite Heavy Civil Engineering and Construction Program is a unique cohort program, bringing together students from both colleges. Under this program, students in construction management will have the opportunity to become more proficient in heavy civil engineering fundamentals, and students in heavy civil engineering will have access to more construction management classes. The uniqueness of the program is furthered by a series of classes that students in both programs will take together. Students will complete at least two internships during the program.
"With a Learn by Doing atmosphere, coupled with an excellent curriculum and high standards for student participation, Cal Poly has been able to help place highly qualified candidates throughout the Granite organization,” said James Roberts, president and CEO of Granite Construction Inc. “We enjoy seeing bright, energetic, hard-working graduates coming out of the Cal Poly programs who have the desire to build careers and help Granite succeed.”
Beavers Charitable Trust, having endowed other professorships at universities nationwide, joined Granite by making a substantial gift to support the Granite program at Cal Poly. Roberts hopes others will follow Granite’s and Beavers’ lead.
“This partnership between Granite, Beavers and Cal Poly can be a leading opportunity for corporations and higher education institutions across the country to partner going forward as we build America’s infrastructure,” he said.
Under the program, the Granite Beavers Heavy Civil Engineering and Construction Endowed Chair will support one full-time faculty chair with academic expertise and professional background in the heavy civil construction and engineering sector.
This role will provide leadership for the program through an innovative joint appointment to construction management and heavy civil engineering departments, and provide increased mentoring opportunities for students. Granite Construction has always sought to be impactful. Beginning with early founders and those who built Granite bit by bit, one theme remained: to impact the world around them and the people within it. That is where their support for student success comes in.
“The idea behind the funds was based on a couple of principles,” explained Philip DeCocco, senior vice president, human resources, at Granite Construction. “Granite is an industry leader, and as such, we believe it is important to lead by example, similar to the Cal Poly Learn by Doing motto. It is also important to us to have Granite’s name and reputation tied to a top-notch program like Cal Poly. “Lastly,” DeCocco added, “Granite is passionate about creating a program where we partner with Cal Poly. We want to ensure that students who mirror the many communities we serve across the country have an opportunity to succeed in our industry.”