Iron Range Engineering is a project based 4 year degree program accredited through Minnesota State University, Mankato and located in Virginia, Minnesota. IRE is a unique collaboration between Mesabi Range College, Itasca Community College, and Minnesota State University, Mankato. Students graduate with a B.S. in Engineering, with a focus area of their choice. Students transferring from other institutions can also enter Iron Range Engineering in their junior year, and begin applying engineering principles in our project based environment.
The first two years of college are fundamental to the development of knowledge, experience, and perspective. At Iron Range Engineering, students have the opportunity to accumulate engineering experience while building the strong technical foundation needed to progress through the program successfully, and become effective engineer. The first two years also give students a chance to survey the different types of engineering, and choose their individual path through the program. As students progress to year 3-4, advanced coursework is selected based their identified engineering focus area.
The world of engineering education is constantly changing. In 2009 Iron Range Engineering (IRE) set out to be on the cusp of continuous improvement in the engineering education field. The team started with a few questions.
What would happen if we united ambitious students looking to be ready for the engineering field at graduation? What if we relied on the latest research to create a cutting edge program that made learning stick longer? How much fun can we have at school? How can we change the stereotypes of what an engineer looks like? Why can't students progress technical skills but also become expert designers and communicators? Could we cut out all of the unproductive parts of college?
Most importantly, could our students obtain a head start at following their dreams?
IRE addressed those questions by developing a curriculum that focuses the student's learning into 3 significant sections: technical principles, the ability to design, and professionalism. By interfacing with local industry through a unique project based approach, IRE continues to bring the learning experience closer to engineering practice than ever before.
Project Based Learning
The best way to learn is through experience, and solving big problems takes teamwork. Because of this, students at Iron Range Engineering work with teams on engineering design projects every semester. These projects grow in size, scope, and complexity each semester, culminating in full semester long projects with industry partners in their junior and senior years. Students work together to solve these real word problems with real companies, while learning the professional and technical skills need to become effective collaborators. This approach gives our students a unique insight to engineering practice in action through their own experience.
Internships and Co-ops
Engineering internships and Co-op experiences are a great way to gain valuable first hand knowledge and see engineering principles applied to a variety of industries. Iron Range Engineering has a highly developed internship placement program that facilitates student interaction with regional and national companies. Our annual engineering career fair offers face to face interaction with companies, and our facilitators are their to guide you through the process. Students in their senior year are encouraged to participate in a semester long internship which is referred to as a Co-Op. These students are able to finish their technical course work remotely, while gaining hands on experience. Internships and Co-ops a vital step on your way to becoming the engineer you want to be.