Campus LifeNews

UWT offers new degrees to keep up with growth

UW Tacoma has added electrical engineering and urban design undergraduate degrees and business analytics graduate degree to the 2017-18 academic year catalog. These new fields of study were added to help students reach their career goals in fast growing fields.

“New degrees being added is pretty common because of the changing job market. Nowadays many jobs are techfocused, as evidenced by the increase in data scientists, mobile developers and database engineers hired in industries like healthcare, finance and retail,” said Alan Griffith from UW’s Department of Economics.

The undergraduate electrical engineering program is a course of study that has strengths in designing and constructing electric circuit models. The skill is used for applications such as communications, signal processing, electromagnetics, controls and embedded systems. UWT’s computer engineering and systems program will overlap courses with the electrical engineering program in the field of circuit design, especially in the freshman and sophomore years. A bachelor’s in electrical engineering has a growing demand in the job market. John Burkhardt, associate director for communications, explained:

“Electrical engineering is undergoing revolutionary shifts as the pace of technological change continues to accelerate. Organizations ranging from Boeing and Intel to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport will be the destinations of Institute alumni.”

Business analytics combines technology and business education into one degree. A Master of Science in this program can lead to jobs such as: project managers, chief analytics officers and marketing professionals. Some of the program’s key features include interacting with peers through web conferencing, participating in online discussions and attending inperson workshops. The program is also compatible with working students with the option of combining face to face classes on Saturdays and e-learning to complete the degree in just 12 months. A total of 40 credits in graduate coursework will include courses such as analytics strategy and big data management, business process and workflow analysis, and applied regression models.

A bachelor’s degree in urban design will be able to be declared as a major starting winter 2018. Students will be able to pursue their goals for social change by creating unique solutions in urban cities with this degree. The curriculum draws on the teaching resources of UWT faculty and experienced regional practitioners. Advantages of this program include dedicated studio classrooms and the opportunity to be trained by practitioners. City in world development, urban design studio and urban social change are a few of the courses available in the program.

“Students gain skills in design thinking and community-engaged design processes,” Burkhardt said. “They will learn computer modeling, visualization, analysis, and data gathering and dissemination.”

UWT’s faculty assembly is working on a new academic planning exercise that will allow the institution to stay informed on its current and future course curriculums.

Ruth Ward, faculty assembly administrative coordinator, explained the purpose of adding these new degrees and programs to UWT.

“The purpose of this academic plan is to be informed on what degree programs the faculty desires to offer in the future and to evaluate and prioritize,” Ward said. “It allows us to keep available resources in mind and creates a timeline that we can follow.”

Unfortunately this process is not yet underway and therefore won’t reach its results until spring 2018.

The collaborative Strategic Initiative Fund project — led by Global Affairs and Undergraduate Education and Academic Technologies — strives to create global learning opportunities for students. Its purpose will be to allow CORE courses to be more collaborative and international friendly. Online classrooms are gaining popularity and stimulates growth in the programs that are in high demand. The project will be funded until June 2020.

“With regard to the growth of UWT in the near and long term future, it is completely unknown at this point. It depends on many, many factors, none of which can be determined at this point,” Faculty Assembly Chair Lauren Montgomery said.