Valparaiso University’s College of Engineering is dedicated to graduating the “balanced engineer.” One of the key programs that demonstrates this dedication is the Dale Carnegie Course, which focuses on self-development through improving skills in leadership, human relations, and interpersonal communications.

The Spring 2012 semester marked the 12th time that the Dale Carnegie Course was offered at Valpo, one of only two universities in the Midwest that offers the course.

“This is a very different course – it’s a course where you focus on yourself, where you develop yourself,” said Jeff Will, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, who facilitated the course.

The course was led by Dale Carnegie instructor Mark Wilson. The instruction is supervised by a full faculty member of the College of Engineering, which was Will’s role this semester. Students, participation in the course is supplemented by quizzes on the required reading, which are administered by the engineering faculty.

“I look around this room and I see that this school is turning out students that will make a significant difference,” said Wilson.

The 12-week program concluded on Tuesday, April 17. At the class, Will pointed to the devotion and dedication shown by the students who participated. This semester’s course was made up of roughly 18 engineering students and five business students, as well as professionals.

“We recognize the power and synergy that comes from our students interacting with professionals already employed,” said Will. “Dale Carnegie also enrolls professionals in the course, in a separate agreement, just as they would do in their standard course. I believe that both students and professionals receive inspiration from each other.”

At the final session, participants gave a three-minute presentation that discussed their growth through the program, gave an example of their area of breakthrough, and articulated their vision for the future. After the presentations, participants received their certificate of completion from Wilson. Awards were given at the end of the night for outstanding performance, biggest breakthrough, highest return on investment, and highest award for achievement.

Participants’ presentations ranged from serious to humorous, but all were heartfelt and sincere. Many of them talked about developing effective communication skills and dealing with stress management. Each of the participants demonstrated significant growth and expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to take this course.

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