14 Higher Education Teams Selected For Pathways To Innovation Program

Fourteen teams of faculty and administrators from U.S. colleges and universities have been selected by the NSF-funded National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) to join the Pathways to Innovation Program.

The Pathways to Innovation Program is designed to help institutions fully incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering education. The program is run by Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell.

Ongoing innovation is required to maintain America’s global competitiveness and address pressing problems. Engineering is the foundation of much of that innovation. Faculty and administrators participating in Epicenter’s Pathways program are taking on this challenge and leading their universities into a new era of engineering education that prepares students to tackle big problems and thrive in this ever-changing economy.

“Today, engineering and computer science students are expected to enter industry with technical knowledge as well as a diverse set of mindsets, skillsets and attitudes that help them innovate, collaborate and create value,” said Tom Byers, director and co-principal investigator of Epicenter and professor at Stanford University. “As educators, we need to better prepare this generation of students for the workforce, position them for success in their careers, and give them more opportunities to bring their innovative ideas to life.”

The following university teams were selected for the 2016 Pathways program:

Binghamton University, SUNY
California State University, Northridge
City College of NY, CUNY
Florida A&M University / Florida State University
Grand Valley State University
Louisiana Tech University
Portland State University
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
South Dakota State University
University of New Hampshire
University of North Alabama
University of South Florida
Western Carolina University
Western Kentucky University

Participating schools assemble a team of faculty and academic leaders to assess their institution’s current offerings, design a unique strategy for change, and lead their peers in a transformation process to broaden and strengthen their campus-based innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Program teams receive access to models for integrating entrepreneurship into engineering curricula, custom online resources, networking opportunities and guidance from a community of engineering and entrepreneurship faculty, and membership in a national network of schools with similar goals.

The teams in the new cohort join a community of 36 institutional teams that are currently participating in the program. The projects include innovation certificates and majors, maker and flexible learning spaces, first-year and capstone courses, faculty fellows programs, and innovation centers. Additionally, several cross-institutional collaborations have resulted from the first group of schools.

“Our two cohorts of Pathways schools have made a tremendous and lasting impact on the education of their students,” said Victoria Matthew, the Pathways program leader and senior program officer at VentureWell. “We are thrilled to welcome these 14 new teams to our national community so we can continue to work together on transforming engineering education.”

Leaders from each Pathways team met for the first time at Stanford University on November 19-20, 2015. A second meeting will bring together teams of four to five faculty and administrators from each school in January 2016 to analyze the needs and opportunities at their schools and develop plans for transforming the undergraduate engineering experience.

Learn more about the Pathways to Innovation Program at http://epicenter.stanford.edu/pathways-to-innovation.

This post originally appeared on the Epicenter website. You can view the original post here: http://epicenter.stanford.edu/page/14-higher-education-teams-selected-for-pathways-to-innovation-program 

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