Author: James R. Owens (Southeastern Louisiana University)
As I returned home from last fall’s National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT) Conference in Panama City, Florida, I reflected upon what a great conference it was. The hotel and setting was unmatched, conference attendance was up over previous years, and students were very visible. One could sense a high level of excitement in the first, and what is expected to be, annual Student Robotics Competition. We witnessed first- hand the problem-solving abilities our students have developed (i.e., removal of vehicle shells, tape on end reflectors) and the asking of that most basic question, “Is it in the road gear?” This hands-on application competition is the latest addition to the other activities scheduled for Industrial Technology (IT) students attending the NAIT conference. The IT/IQ Quiz Bowl has for many years been at center stage as a way for students and their chapters to compete directly with one another. This year, one of our 18 students in attendance placed third in this event. I am very proud and honored to say that Southeastern Louisiana University team members in recent years have also competed quite well, having placed first or second in the Quiz Bowl. Our department brought students to the NAIT conference for the first time in 1992. Since then, we have had a large contingent attending each year. Originally, the theory was that it would be fun and educational for the students. However, since then, our department and the university have come to realize that their inclusion in this annual event is much more valuable. It has become a major benefit to the department (its growth and status within the university), to the students (both to the student chapters as well as for the individuals), and to NAIT. In this article, I would like to explore with you the benefits we have witnessed, as well as how we overcame the challenges posed to such an undertaking
Keywords: administration|higher education|NAIT
How to Cite: Owens, J. R. (2003) “The Importance of Student Organizations”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. 19(4).