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Envisioned Master's Program In Making And Big Data Aims To Address Engineering's Skills And Diversity Gaps





NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of innovators and globally recognized technology and educational leaders, founded as New Engineering University ("NEU"), announced today that they will join creative and intellectual forces to develop programs in partnership with the University of New Haven to re-engineer engineering education in Big Data and create the nation's first degree in Making that builds on the phenomenon of the Maker Movement.

The programs will be designed to foster unmatched diversity in engineering education and deliver an industry-connected experience to meet hiring needs in growing sectors of the economy. The first program is targeted to be a one-year Master of Engineering degree in Big Data to be offered at a Maker space-like facility in Palo Alto, Calif. Early supporters for the program including MAKE, the drivers of the Maker Movement; the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media, led by the Academy Award ® winning actress; Codecademy, the online coding platform; and GoldieBlox, the celebrated female-targeted engineering toy company - are just some of the groups that will reach out to their extensive networks of engineers to identify candidates for the inaugural class.

NEU and the University of New Haven are developing the curricula for these offerings and engaging industry support. An external advisory council comprising industry and academic leaders will guide the design of curricula and programs. The University of New Haven is preparing to seek state authorizations for the programs once the curricula are developed. Recruitment will begin after the programs are approved. One of the goals of the program is to enroll a class with a diverse student body where at least half of the students will be women, challenging the current environment in which just 11 percent of practicing engineers are female.

"Existing engineering programs are not attracting enough students, and certainly not a representative mix of students," said Scott Kauffman, CEO of NEU. "And there is an unintentional disconnect between traditional higher education and the employment needs of American corporations. Last year, nearly 90 percent of U.S. companies reported difficulty hiring engineering talent, and 1.7 million cloud-related jobs went unfilled globally in a sector that will produce 14 million jobs by 2015. The talent gap is a global crisis that we and our mission-aligned institutions will address through an entirely new breed of engineering program."

"This partnership is an outstanding opportunity to explore innovative curricula with industry partners," said Daniel May, University of New Haven provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "The University of New Haven provides the highest-quality education through experiential, collaborative and discovery-based learning in partnership with industry leaders, and together we will extend our leadership into the highest growth technical sectors of the economy."

The envisioned debut program in Big Data will target recent engineering graduates and underemployed engineers to prepare them for leadership positions in data-centric businesses by integrating the hiring needs of employers into the curriculum and learning experiences.

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