PROFESSIONAL TRAINING PROCESS OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS
One of the most important challenges of Universities is to maintain their curricula adequate to cover the changing needs of productive sector. To reach this it is required the implementation of several actions, for instance systematic and regular updating of the learning units contents, and disciplinary update of their professors. However these activities are not executed with adequate periodicity mainly due to the long and tedious administrative procedures they entail. Usually the Universities have a continuing education department that offers disciplinary training on topics of interest to industries where professors could participate. However, this is difficult for them due to the many activities they perform and the cost of these courses. We believe there is a more convenient way to deal with the upgrading problem; it is the generation of real learning environments that could be achieved through Industry-University linkage. Industries are seeking professionals able to get results and achieve goals; this represents a great opportunity for students and the Universities of working in coordination with Industries. By involving the students in the development of industry projects that solve real problems and cover specific needs they would have the opportunity of implement the acquired knowledge on a real life problem thus improving the training process, since the development of these projects involve professors, employers, and students. In this work we present a study of the benefits obtained in the training process of engineering students of ECITEC (School of Sciences of Engineering and Technology) when they developed Industry-University linkage projects. This investigation has been done through analysis of the feedback received from industries with which ECITEC is linked. Once the student completes his project the person responsible within the industry evaluates the student performance using a tool designed by the department of Industrial Engineering at the University that allows to the ECITEC professors to identify specific opportunity areas. We have found through this analysis that among the main benefits by establishing an Industry-University linkage there are: 1) professors must kept updated in order to support the student in the development of a successful project; 2) students have access to the highest technology and real learning environments; and 3) Industries obtain competent professionals who offer solutions.