THE STUDENTS’ PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AT THE COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
The necessity and importance of the students’ professional training
The students’ professional training is approached as a need for practical and applied learning. The system governing the implementation, deployment and assessment of the professional training stage must be harmonized and correlated with the legal requirements concerning the advancement of professional and transversal skills defined at the level of the study fields (Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering).
The ways to improve the training management are related to the mission and objectives set out in Practice Law and the Rules governing the students’ professional training, issued at college level. The short-, medium- and long-term strategies aim to continually improve the professional training stages characteristic of each specializations in the college.
The main goal of the professional training stage is to expand our students’ occupational skills in line with their qualification objectives and the specialization they are studying. The professional training activity ensures and achieves the following:
- increasing the students’ opportunities to assert themselves on the labor market;
- increasing their chances of acquiring work experience;
- providing them with learning opportunities that cannot be obtained in the classroom;
- acquiring the necessary exercise in a working environment where the pressure and the working methods are real, not simulated;
- developing their organizational and communication skills;
- obtaining feedback on whether the students’ skills rise up to the expected level and detecting the areas that need improvement;
- creating networks of partnerships with businesses and institutions that are potential employers for the students of our college;
- strengthening the links between the theoretical and the applied aspects that are specific to the training-educational process;
- involving the students and the academics in relevant practical activities;
- forming the students’ entrepreneurial, organizational attitudes and skills and ensuring their openness to the real, competitive environment.
The professional training implementation strategy
Specialized professional training is part of the curriculum; it is a compulsory subject, it has no lucrative character and is carried out by all the first- and second-year students who major in Environmental Science and Environmental Geography, as well as by the second- and third-year students who major in Environmental Engineering and in Biotechnical and Ecological Systems Engineering, from the College of Environmental Science and Engineering; professional training is provided with credit points.
The increasing relevance of the professional training stages is evidenced by the development and promotion of collaboration networks between the College of Environmental Science and Engineering and economic units in the field, as well as by attracting the students towards the practical application of the skills and competencies acquired during their study years.
The implementation of the quality management principles in setting up, organizing, conducting and evaluating the professional training activity enables its efficient management in a systematic and transparent manner. By adapting itself to the requirements of the market and the employers, the professional training practice fosters the rising prestige of our curricula and our college’s institutional visibility in the short, medium and long run.
General and specific objectives of specialized professional training
To familiarize the students with the fundamentals of environmental science and engineering, the working system and mode of the industrial and specialized units, as well as with the documentation, the information flow of the documents and the strategies used in organizations and environmental protection agencies;
to put the students in direct contact and relation with the environmental problems arising from industrial activities or due to natural phenomena;
to combine the practical and theoretical notions and to train the students towards the implementation of the information and professional knowledge acquired throughout their years of study;
to complete their practical knowledge and develop their technical skills;
to develop and improve their work methodology and relevant sampling skills for conducting environmental studies in the field, under the guidance of professional practice coordinators and to synthesize, centralize and process the data obtained thereby;
to become familiar with the environment and the realities in which the students will work;
to regularly analyze the students’ level of theoretical and practical training and to improve the practical programs and activities;
to increase the share of professional training by involving as many institutions and economic units in research, administration and production etc.
How are the professional training stages conducted?
The students’ professional training practice is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the curriculum. The period of internships is regulated in the approved curriculum (40 hours x 2 weeks, respectively, A-spring practice, and B-summer practice). The activity is carried out as itinerant practice (applications/ thematic field trips) and practice on the sites of economic agents, in which students learn and apply in situ study methods and techniques regarding environmental analysis, evaluation and planning. At college level, practice portfolios are designed (based on which students are assessed through indicators and according to the duration and quality of the activity carried out during the internship), conventions of practice (which regulate the contact with the practice partners) and practice sheets (as summary document of the internship). The routes covered, the objectives and the professional training themes pertaining to each specialization are aspects established by the professional practice coordinators, tutors and mentors. At the end of each internship, students take an oral examination and receive a grade for the activities entailed by that internship.
The advantages of mixed professional training practice
The students’ experience in professional training practice contributes significantly to the participatory learning activities. Students experience relevant scientific and working methods and techniques in the field and in the real occupational environment. The cohesion of the students’ group increases and the communication/ interaction bet The professional training stages conducted in itinerant manner and in partnership with businesses and specialized institutions provide the graduates of the College of Environmental Science and Engineering with a generous framework for their active involvement and professional training.