University of Wisconsin-Stout, Graduated 2011
B.S. Manufacturing Engineering
B.S. Plastics Engineering
Catonsville Community College: Teacher Education (60cr, I didn't take my associates degree however)
Towson University: Psychology (B.S. 2001)
McDaniel College: Dual Concentration in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration (I will finish my M.S. coursework in another year)
I took several education courses for my certification from some colleges that I didn't attend as a degree student (including JHU), and I took a couple computer courses in the early 2000's at Univ of Maryland, University College just for fun.
After I get my M.S. I may get my Ed.D. from JHU. Where I work, we are affiliated with JHU and most people get their masters there. I didn't plan to stay where I work forever, and I can be a little bit of a rebel at times, so I refused to go to JHU simply because everyone else did (and because there was a lot of pressure for me go there). Well, now that I probably will be staying where I currently work (and I've decided to go on for a doctorate so a more prestigious school would be helpful) I am having second thoughts. So, if I don't get into Hopkins for my doctorate, I'll probably take a second masters there before going somewhere else for my doctorate (as well as reapplying to Hopkins for the doctorate).
Yes, it was a recent addition to the programs that they offer.
West-central Wisconsin and the Greater Minneapolis/St.Paul area has a vibrant plastics processing industry and vocalized a need for engineers trained in the materials science and processing aspects. A lot of it has to do with the huge medical device industry in the Twin Cities with companies like Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and St. Jude Medical running the show. Tons of medical products are made of plastics or contain plastic components. Having suppliers (i.e. contract manufacturers) close to these companies makes it easy for collaboration and allows for a decreased burden on the supply chain (less travel and simplified logistics).
In general, a plastics processing company will hire a mechanical engineer that had a limited exposure to plastics related topics in school and will have to educate them on the job. Graduating from plastics engineering program, an engineer can come in ready to rock in relatively short amount of time. Of course they won't know everything, but a solid base will be there. The concept aligns with Stout's mission of providing hands-on, industry relevant education/training.
You can check it out here: http://www.uwstout.edu/programs/bspe/index.cfm