Today, innovations have become increasingly important as the world faces the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. Thus, to thrive in this new information-based and tech-savvy world, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
STEM education is a method of education in which subjects are taught in coherence instead of in isolation. It is important in today’s world as it emphasizes on bridging the learning gap by putting the children at the core of the experience, making them active learners from passive listeners. Thus, institutions offering STEM education are gaining ground in the rigorous competition among educational institutions today.
Incepted in 2001, Harrisburg University (HU) is one such institution that was founded by visionaries who upended old models of higher education in pursuit of STEM learning for underserved communities. The founders created an institution which partners with businesses and governments to fill their needs for a skilled workforce in science and technology. At Harrisburg University, strong career-development partnerships immerse students in the heart of the STEM economy even before they graduate.
Transforming Classroom Education into Careers
Harrisburg University is a world-class university with affordable tuition and a diverse student body hailing from its backyard and around the globe. The main campus stands in the heart of a safe, thriving metropolitan city. HU’s undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students engage in real research and work experiences, in close partnerships with leading and upstart businesses and agencies across the STEM spectrum.
An HU diploma equips students with the technical keys to success as well as the collaborative and communication skills that employers demand and the networking that opens doors. Guided by faculty who are respected leaders in their fields, HU’s students transform classroom education into careers with meaningful impact.
Best-in-class Academic Programs
At HU, the student success springs from undergraduate and graduate academic programs that are student-centered, technologically advanced, and experimental. The highly accessible programs offered by the university include undergraduate degrees offered on its vibrant campuses, while best-in-class graduate degrees are offered online or in a blended format. It offers numerous academic programs including,
- Undergraduate Degrees: S. Advanced Manufacturing, B.S. Applied Mathematics, B.S. Biotechnology, B.S. Computer and Information Sciences, B.S. Cybersecurity Operations and Management (Online), B.S. Environmental Science and Sustainability, B.S. E-sports Management, Production and Performance, B.S. Geospatial Technology, B.S. Information Systems and Information Technology (Online), B.S. Integrative Sciences, B.S. Interactive Media, B.S. Management, Entrepreneurship & Business Administration (Online), B.S. Management, Entrepreneurship, and Business Administration, B.S. Nursing RN to BSN (Online).
- Graduate Degrees:S. Analytics, M.S. Biotechnology, M.S. Computer Information Sciences, M.S. Consumer Behaviour and Decision Sciences, M.S. Healthcare Informatics, M.S. Human-Centered Interaction Design, M.S. Information Systems Engineering and Management, M.S. Learning Technologies and Media Systems, M.S. Next Generation Technologies, M.S Nursing (Online), M.S. Pharmaceutical Sciences, M.S. Project Management, M.S. Techpreneurship, Ph.D. Computational Sciences, Ph.D. Data Sciences Engineering and Management, Ph.D. Information Systems.
An Array of Support Services
Alongside the academic programs, students at HU also have access to a rich array of support services such as BRAINFUSE –Free, one-on-one online tutoring with professional tutors, faculty, and individual advisors; Tutoring Program –Individual peer tutors in many subjects available upon request; and Connections Program –where new students are directed to learn more about HU classes, academics, social events, study skills, and everything else that will help them succeed at HU. The university also offers Technology Literacy Program and The Bridge Program.
Furthermore, with its foundation in technology as a world-class STEM university, HU pivoted seamlessly to fully-online, high-quality learning as the pandemic took hold. The university introduced numerous virtual resources such as The Virtual Student Union (VSU) portal to support during unprecedented times.
Vibrant Campus Life
HU’s campus is located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s beautiful, riverfront capital city –that environs buzz with vast dining options, exciting entertainment and culture, and sports to play and watch. HU’s championship esports team–The HU Storm –hosts thrilling tournaments. The university offers students internship opportunities in topflight health care, government, and technology institutions. Moreover, every student gets a free membership in Harrisburg Young Professionals, where they can socialize, play, serve the community, and practice the art of networking–which is essential to career success.
Fulfilling the Industry Demands
The University empowers students by providing them with three essentials –21st-century academic majors, affordability, and competency-driven education –to thrive in the increasing competition. The competency-driven education offered by HU produces well-rounded graduates, desirable to employers for their agile thinking and innovative perspectives. HU students are critical thinkers, able to define and approach situations from multiple viewpoints, and consider all outcomes. With their analytical skills, students can synthesize and interpret complex information from many sources. Their fearlessness in taking risks and offering creative ideas differentiates them from other students.
These and more essential skills are incorporated into HU’s core competencies. “These in-demand competencies also include civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and ethical awareness and reasoning, global awareness, information literacy, and that 21st-century essential –teamwork and collaboration,” says Dr. Eric Darr (President at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology).
Spearheading the Expansion
Since being named the President of Harrisburg University in 2013, Dr. Darr has been instrumental in launching HU and has continued to shape its vision while serving as faculty member and administrator. Under his dynamic leadership, HU’s enrolment has grown from 500 to more than 6,000 students today. The university also added 33 new graduate and undergraduate concentrations and degree programs, and faculty have secured substantial grants and student scholarship support.
In downtown Harrisburg, HU’s presence has grown from one academic tower– fully-equipped with 21st-century classrooms and laboratories, to five sites including historical buildings revitalized into modern residences. HU’s state-of-the-art, $100 million Health Science Education Centre, scheduled to open in 2023 will usher a new generation of students into the booming healthcare professions. Moreover, a new location in Philadelphia is centrally-positioned to deliver HU’s world-class STEM education to more students throughout the Mid-Atlantic. “Plans are underway to expand overseas, and more of our degrees are available 100 percent online. Students grow as HU grows,” adds Dr. Darr.
In the coming years, Dr. Darr envisions HU to seek growth in new corners by expanding its physical presence and program delivery methods. He believes that the new programs will keep pace with ever-changing STEM disciplines, while they continue to attract students eager to learn and grow in the global economy.