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Public utility training with the Edison Company

EFFICIENCY in the service and the administration of a public utility is recognized as depending in no small measure on the adequacy of the training of men engaged in the practical productive work of the utility corporation. In appreciation of this fact the Institute has added to its curriculum in the department of electrical engineering a course designed to co-operatively provide such training.

Explaining the plan of the course, Prof. William H. Timbie, of the department of electrical engineering points out that there are really four fields of electrical engineering work. The first field is that of handling the electrical and some executive phases of projects such as harnessing river water powers, he said. The second field is that of consulting engineer alone, or attached to some company; the third, that of the manufacture of electrical apparatus including research; and the fourth, that of supplying electrical apparatus, power and facilities to commercial use.

Training men for the manufacturing and research work has already been solved by the Institute through the co-operative arrangement with the General Electric Company. Under this plan students spend alternate terms at the Institute and in the shops of the company, setting practical experience against a background of theory. The need of public utility training has become increasingly apparent, however, and a similar agreement has been entered into with the Edison Electric Illuminating Company.

"In the public utility corporations of the United States," Professor Timbie explained, "are invested billions of dollars. Dependent on these corporations for employment are hundreds of thousands of men and women. There is probably no community the civic comfort and welfare of which does not depend upon the proper administration of one or more public utilities. These corporations often supply water, gas, electricity and local transportation. In order that they may be efficiently conducted all of these undertakings require the services of engineers who are well grounded in the fundamental natural sciences, who have a specialized knowledge of a particular utility, and a broad interest and education in public utilities in general.

"Such men must be able to apply the theories of natural science to the practical requirements of the individual problems as they arise. In order to develop men of the highest specialized and administrative capacities for service with electric power enterprises the Institute has been able to extend the co-operation plan used in manufacturing training to include public utility work.'

Professor Timbie briefly outlined the program that has been

evolved, explaining that the course covers a five-year period, the first two years being devoted to the regular electrical engineering course at the Institute, and the last three being divided between the Institute and the electric company's shops. The students, he said, are assigned in pairs, alternating between plant and office at first, and exchanging information and opinions. Specialization according to aptitude is allowed in the last year. During the co-operative period the company pays the student about $1600, Professor Timbie added, but there is no written contract between the student and the company binding the former to continue work with the latter.

Experience with the co-operative course with the General Electric Company, the professor said, has demonstrated the value of such combined practical and academic training. The application of this idea to the public utility, however, is regarded as having an added possibility in the direction of public service and efficiency.


WE hear much about the evil of the preoccupation of the student mind with marks, to the exclusion of values. The real preoccupation with marks should be on the part of the men giving them and thus fixing the standards of their institution. No more useful plan has been devised than that in use in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where the marks of all students in all subjects are submitted in a tabular view to the consideration of all instructors. The searching nature of this test upon the men responsible for various parts of the educational process needs not be dwelt upon.- The New Republic.


THE School of Public Health, operated jointly by Harvard and Technology, closed its academic year last June by granting the certificate in public health to eleven men and one woman.

The woman is Miss Bertha Millard Brown of Dorchester. The men are James E. Baylis and Charles L. Foster of the United States Medical Corps; Arthur E. Burke of Watertown, Roy J. Campbell of Sabuttus, Me., Elmer W. Campbell of Oakland, Me., George Fordham of Boston, Harry E. Hitchcock of Auburn, Me., William F. Lawrence of Brockton, Mahidol Songkla of Bangkok, Siam, Joseph F. Vesely of Prague, Czechoslovakia, and Arnold G. Vardon of East Bengal, India.

The administrative board of the School of Public Health now consists of Dr. Milton J. Rosenau, director and acting chairman, Prof. George C. Whipple, secretary, and Prof. C. E. Turner of the department of biology and public health of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, acting representative of the department. Professor Whipple has recently been elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Sanitary Institute of Great Britain.

A new course of instruction for teachers of public health will be offered this year by the Harvard-Technology school with the co-operation of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The course will be the first of its kind in the country, and is intended to supply instructors who can teach hygiene or superintend such instruction in the public schools and who can correlate the various health activities of the public school system in the most advantageous way. One year's study will be required to complete the course.

Students who elect the new course will be required to have a high school diploma and in addition to have completed the work necessary for a normal school graduate, graduate nurse with public health training, graduate in physical education, or graduate of an approved college. Students also will be required to have at least one year's professional experience in school or in public health work. Each student enrolled will be obliged to take instruction in the special subject of health education and will be allowed to make up the balance of his course by election from any of the subjects relating to public health work offered at Harvard or Technology, subject to the approval of the Faculty of the Harvard-Technology School of Public Health.

The new course has been offered to fill the need which has been felt for better instruction in health matters in the public schools of the country. At present the health work in the schools is being carried on by (1) the grade or high school teacher, who is occasionally a special hygiene teacher, but more often a teacher of general subjects; (2) the school nurse, who frequently adds to her nursing activities some instruction in hygiene; and (3) the teacher of physical education. Frequently

the school system has suffered from a lack of the co-ordination of these activities, but the most serious and the most common defect at present, it is believed, is the lack of a unified program of health instruction suitably arranged for the various grades and for the high school.

"This new course," according to Prof. C. E. Turner, assistant professor of biology and public health at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, comes in response to a steadily increasing demand for such training on the part of grade teachers, public health nurses with teaching responsibilities, and teachers of physical education. The teaching of personal hygiene and public health has undergone rapid expansion in the last two years, and there is every indication that it will continue to develop.

Some idea of the demand that has been created is to be gained from the large enrollment which greeted the Institute's announcement of a summer course in methods of teaching hygiene and public health. The registration list for that course, which has just come to a close included students from California to New England, from the Philippines and even from far-off Siam. The work given covered such phases of the subject as the organizing of schools for health work; appropriate health activities for the public school system; latest methods of health instruction, including the use of moving pictures on health and sanitation; co-ordination of the various phases of school hygience; recent experiments and literature; lectures, classroom demonstrations, clinics, and a study of official and private health organizations in a position to co-operate with schools."

Remarkable improvement in the health of the average pupil, Professor Turner declared, has followed the introduction of proper health training into public schools. "It is my opinion that visual education holds out greater promise of successful accomplishment than any other single feature of health training. Experiments conducted in the past year with various health and sanitation films specially prepared for school use, such as those produced by the Society for Visual Education, have yielded surprising results."

Among projected health films which Professor Turner mentioned as likely to be in circulation among the schools next year are reels on "The Human Mechanism," "Food and Diet," "Care of the Teeth," and "Daily Health Habits.


Profs. Davis R. Dewey and Carol W. Doten of the Depart ment of Economics have been appointed to the Economic Advisory Committee of President Harding's conference on unemployment.

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