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University of New Haven Partners with Galvanize and University Ventures on Innovative Engineering Degree

Master’s Program in Data Science Aims to Address Engineering's Skill and Diversity Gaps

A team of innovators and globally recognized technology and educational leaders announced at the 2013 Maker Faire in New York City that they will join creative and intellectual forces to develop programs in partnership with the University of New Haven to re-engineer engineering education. The initial partnership was between University Ventures and the University of New Haven. In 2014 Galvanize entered the partnership.

UNH leaders (from left to right) Jim McCoy, Ron Harichandran and Dan May with Geena Davis.The first program that was launched is a one-year Master of Science degree in Data Science offered at the Maker space-like Galvanize campus in San Francisco, Calif. It is designed to foster unmatched diversity in engineering education and deliver an industry-connected experience to meet hiring needs in growing sectors of the economy.

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 actor; 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 program. 

Davis said at the announcement at the Maker Faire that not enough women are attracted to engineering. “I would like to personally add my thanks to University Ventures and the University of New Haven for having the foresight to create this groundbreaking program that will change the landscape of engineering around the world,” she said.

'Change the World, Literally'

Dale Dougherty, founder of the Maker Faire, said he hopes the faire inspires people to “see what’s possible. We can change the world literally.” New engineering programs and curriculum revisions are necessary, however, since students interested in making are anxious to make things starting on the first day of college.

“What worries me is when I see how many kids and adults as well those who are inspired by the faire… but where do they go on Monday or on Tuesday and Wednesday the following week?” he said.

Galvanize and the University of New Haven developed the curriculum for the offering in data science and engaged industry support. An external advisory council comprising industry and academic leaders guided the design of the program and curriculum.

Authorization for the program was granted in 2014 by the Connecticut Office of Higher Education and the California Bureau of Private Post-Secondary Education.

One of the goals of the program is to enroll a class with a diverse student body with a strong representation of women, challenging the current environment in which just 11 percent of practicing engineers are female.

“This partnership is an outstanding opportunity to explore innovative curricula with industry partners,” said Daniel May, University of New Haven's 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 Master's in Data Science is hands-on, project-based, team-oriented, includes a corporate internship and also develops professional skills such as leadership, entrepreneurism and communication," said Ron Harichandran, dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven. "The program will embody the very same attributes of BS programs in the Tagliatela College of Engineering and we are thrilled to partner with Galvanize to develop it."

The program was highlighted by Chronicle of Higher Education in March 2015.

Leadership Positions

The program in Data Science targets 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.  

The program’s education model features:

  • A hands-on curriculum that maximizes teamwork and uses real-world projects
  • Mentor-driven teaching from industry practitioners, furthering employer ties
  • Learning environments with technology-enabled simulations and real-time projects
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Introducing the Master's Program in Data Science