Oregon Institute of Technology is the Pacific Northwest’s only polytechnic institute. Think Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, or Pomona, but much, much smaller, and in the beautiful scenic location of Klamath Falls, Oregon. The focus here, where students get the opportunity to work closely with professors, is giving students the opportunity to learn their craft in a hands-in way. The emphasis is less on new research and discovery, and more on the application of known theory.
OIT has some unique specialties, like nuclear medicine and renewable energy engineering. Students in the nuclear medicine discipline get real-world training, working with techniques that allow physicians to look at 360-degree images of organs, aided by the use of sub-pharmacological levels of radiation (don’t take it from me, take it from Professor Shirley Templeton, the department director and safety officer for the college).
Most OIT students, including all students in the medical imaging field (ultrasound, nuclear, x-ray), must perform an externship before they graduate, and many are offered jobs at their externship site. “We have industry advisory groups for almost every one of our majors,” said President Chris Maples, “and we respond to what the industry wants.”
Self-motivated visual learners will do well at OIT. The programs are rigorous and not all students will complete their major. A student who had started as a medical imaging major sat at my table at lunch, and she did not make the cut to continue the program. She was able to change her major to business marketing and management, although some of her credits will not count towards her new major, and she may take five years to graduate. But she strongly believes that OIT is still a great place for her.
OIT has a nice campus in a beautiful, if remote, part of Oregon. About half of the 2200 students live on campus. The medical sciences building is state-of-the-art and engineering disciplines are very strong here. The faculty and administration are dedicated to ensuring that students receive a relevant and rigorous education. President Maples thanked our group of counselors, one by one, for coming to take a look at the campus, and clearly shows a lot of pride in his campus and students.