By Michael Ferraresi
GCU News Bureau
Beginning this fall, students in the Class of 2018 and beyond will begin using the Phoenix main campus as a springboard into careers as computer engineers, software designers, video simulation storytellers and tech entrepreneurs.
This month marks the launch of degree programs in computer science and information technology. Other programs are being designed around engineering and, by October, the University plans to break ground on a new engineering building. There's so much news about GCU's development of programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — known as the STEM disciplines — that it requires a Daily Dose of coverage. GCU Today will follow the University's STEM trends on this blog throughout the school year.
For any STEM questions or story suggestions, please share your feedback in the comment thread here on the blog, or send a note to [email protected].
Electrical engineering program, new STEM academic building launch in 2015
(posted Thursday, Sept. 4)
Next fall marks the beginning of GCU’s engineering program and the unveiling of a new science and technology building on the east side of campus. For faculty who’ve taken a deep dive into the curriculum over the past year, the fall will serve as a major benchmark in the University’s development of tech programs. By then, GCU’s first wave of computer science and information-technology students will be immersed in sophomore year projects in innovation labs on campus. GCU Today has a story about the impact of the University’s collective engineering mindset and what it means for the future.
GCU faculty spent the better part of a year developing the University’s degree program in electrical engineering, but the University also is investigating a wide range of other engineering curricula, including biomedical and mechanical.
Monthly 'STEM Saturdays' for K-12 students, teachers begin this weekend
(posted Friday, Aug. 29)
This fall, GCU will host a series of “STEM Saturdays” science hands-on workshops for local K-12 schools. The first session, on Saturday, Sept. 6, introduces students to building rockets and teachers to blending aeronautics in the classroom. The idea with STEM Saturdays is to help K-12 science teachers develop curriculum to prepare students for college and to share the college science experience with Valley youth. Information: GCU K-12 STEM outreach manager Amanda Hughens at [email protected]
Journal: STEM academics require collaborative training effort
(posted Thursday, Aug. 28)
An article published earlier this year in the Journal of College Science Teaching addressed how to repair the divide between K-12 STEM education and college-level STEM courses through a collaborative, community approach to training students. Read the full article, “A Tipping Point in STEM Education Reform.”
Biotech, software engineering, tech entrepreneurship experts join GCU's CSET
(posted Wednesday, Aug. 27)
The University has hired biotechnology consultant Dr. Michael Sheller as associate dean over the new science and engineering programs in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. Luke Kanuchok, a former Lockheed Martin software engineer, and Dr. Steve Powelson, a longtime tech entrepreneur, will serve as lead faculty over the computer science and information technology programs. Meanwhile, GCU also recently added Amanda Hughens as K-12 STEM outreach manager to link local schools into the University’s tech efforts. GCU Today has a story about our tech faculty and staff.
New programs to train new computer engineers, IT managers, and other hot tech jobs
(posted Tuesday, Aug. 26)
If you haven’t seen the specific breakdowns of GCU’s new computer science and information technology bachelor’s degrees, click here. We also have an info box that ran in the September issue of GCU Today Magazine that explains the types of careers that students could land with their degrees.
'Team Innovation Experience' course designed to foster collaboration
(posted Monday, Aug. 25)
GCU is rolling out an undergraduate course next spring, Team Innovation Experience, to help guide all STEM general education coursework. An interdisciplinary group of faculty will design course material in order to expose students to multiple science- and tech-related disciplines early in their computer science and information technology program tracts. Future engineering students and others will do the same. The course is based in team project development and lab work to “develop and demonstrate a student‛s critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.”
Career Services helps drive students to STEM jobs
(posted Friday, Aug. 22)
GCU’s Career Services department will be actively involved with preparing students for tech and engineering jobs. The department recently adjusted its interactive “Career Compass” online tool to include STEM-related prompts to help students align their skills and abilities within STEM fields. The idea with the Career Compass is to allow students to see their potential academic options based on their passions or experience. You can access the Career Compass here along with other Career Services interactive tools for students.
STEM board advisers come from tech, healthcare IT, engineering backgrounds
(posted Thursday, Aug. 21)
President and CEO Brian Mueller established a STEM Advisory Board to help guide the University's expansion of technology programs and its development of an engineering curriculum. Board members come from a variety of tech, healthcare and IT backgrounds to share their real-world feedback to help GCU faculty understand how to equip students to succeed in the workplace.
GCU Today Magazine features tech CEO whose company has humble beginnings on campus
(posted Wednesday, Aug. 20)
As a GCU undergraduate, Jared Stauffer laid out his vision for a new technology company, and he followed through on his dream. Now his Phoenix-based cloud-service company, Brinkster, is thriving. As reported in the cover story of GCU Today Magazine (shown at right), Stauffer is an example of the type of tech student GCU plans to cultivate through its new IT and computer science programs. Click HERE for the full digital version of the magazine.
Preparing students for tech workforce is driving force for new STEM programs
(posted Tuesday, Aug. 19)
There’s an imbalance between available STEM jobs and available STEM professionals, as studies show STEM skills stayed in demand during the recent recession. In Arizona, where the tech and health care industries are growing, there are 1.7 STEM jobs for every one unemployed person compared with one non-STEM job for every 4.1 unemployed people. GCU Today examines how the University will prepare students to fill those positions
GCU analyzes what tech industry wants from graduates
(posted Monday, Aug. 18)
Dr. Michael Mobley joined GCU in 2013 after 20 years in research and development at Procter & Gamble and other science leadership roles. The doctor of physical chemistry immediately set to work on the Center for Integrated Science, Engineering and Technology. Known as CISET, the center is designed to serve as a hub for STEM academics. Mobley has spent considerable time networking with tech industry leaders and helping to hire three new faculty members in the past year. He addressed how to repair disconnect between academia and the tech industry in an op-ed in The Arizona Republic.
Study: Arizona STEM jobs plentiful, homegrown job candidates scarce
(posted Friday, Aug. 15)
Preparing students for science- and technology-related jobs and keeping many of those students here in Arizona will be critical for GCU. Of course, the University already prepares doctors, nurses and other health care professionals for the workforce, but now the goal will be to do the same in new health care, engineering and information technology sectors. There’s a great need to cultivate Arizona students to fill Arizona tech jobs. According to this study by the Arizona Technology Council, states such as Alabama and Utah traditionally have produced more science and engineering graduates than Arizona. GCU has taken steps to change that.
Two campus centers aim to refine academic focus
(posted Thursday, Aug. 14)
With our STEM programs, the ability to personalize curriculum and integrate student learning opportunities across various degree programs and colleges will be essential to differentiate GCU from other universities. To help involve students in cross-disciplinary, STEM-related learning and thinking, GCU established two academic centers on campus: the Center for Integrated Science, Engineering and Technology, led by Dr. Michael Mobley and Haley Peebles of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, and the Center for Connected Health, led by Maria Quimba, assistant dean in the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions.
Leveraging pre-med, nursing program success is vital
(posted Wednesday, Aug. 13)
GCU’s new STEM initiative is designed to leverage the University’s core academic competencies and resources, such as those in the pre-med and nursing programs, to grow new technology programs. As new students work toward degrees in computer science, information technology and engineering, there will be interdisciplinary opportunities for them to overlap with students in more established programs. For example, GCU nursing grads routinely score above 90 percent on professional licensure and assessment tests, and 76 percent of the University’s pre-med grads who apply to medical schools get accepted.
Faith, science intersect at GCU
(posted Tuesday, Aug. 12)
At a Christian university, science and technology can be harnessed for the greater good. A founding principle of GCU’s new STEM-oriented academic push is to provide students with the sense of faith outlined in our doctrinal statement to augment their careers as computer programmers, engineers and other science-related roles. In his message at the final Chapel of the summer, President and CEO Brian Mueller explained his vision for a “new” GCU that coaches students into a “theology of work and calling” to prepare them for serving humanity in any vocation, including cutting-edge tech jobs.
'Daily Dose' of STEM blog showcases GCU's program focus
(posted Monday, Aug. 11)
Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics. Or, simply — STEM. After comprehensive planning and input from industry leaders, those disciplines will pervade University culture and campus-based innovations for the foreseeable future. Over the next month, GCU Today will provide a “Daily Dose” of STEM-related information to summarize how GCU's academic programs are being designed for the future. Click here to read about the steps GCU took to create its new technology programs.