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Talent Feed Articles - Drexel

October 2019

Drexel’s Tech College Experiences Record Growth Thanks to Industry-Responsive, Experiential Education Model

Under the helm of Dean & Isaac L. Auerbach Professor Yi Deng, PhD, Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) is experiencing record growth in its undergraduate and graduate programs.

“In the last three years, CCI has experienced over 35-percent increase in our enrollment, along with significant growths in sponsored research, new academic programs, industry partnerships, diversity in our student body, and fundraising,” said Deng. “This fall, we welcomed more than 2,100 students – our largest enrollment ever – and have a projected record freshman retention rate of 91 percent.”

In addition, CCI also welcomed 11 new faculty members this academic year with expertise in key, market-responsive areas such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, data science, digital content management, human-computer interaction and information systems.

To accommodate its increased capacity, the College relocated its faculty, professional staff and students to two floors of 3675 Market Street in April 2019. CCI’s new home features a student-centric layout to help stimulate innovation and engagement, including state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, flexible seating to support active learning, collaborative meeting spaces, and large shared research labs.

The College attributes this growth and success to a multi-pronged, strategic approach to innovating and improving partnerships, academic offerings, student engagement, and diversity and inclusion efforts.

Through its Corporate Partners Program, launched in 2017, the College has connected industry to education, offering area companies direct access to students to help generate a robust talent pipeline. The Program provides a unique model for companies to build brand awareness as well as lasting and meaningful engagements across the student spectrum — from tech workshops with high school students, to freshmen orientation courses, senior design projects, and networking events with young alumni.

The Program’s roster includes 20 companies and counting. Although the Partners’ industries are wide-ranging – from lighting management systems, to FinTech, to water and wastewater services – they all share the same need for technical innovation and solutions.

“The economic impact of information and technology that we’re experiencing today is unprecedented and, frankly, we find that many companies cannot meet their tech needs fast enough,” said Deng. “We are proud to offer a program that leverages industry know-how with Drexel’s renowned experiential education model to offer a learning environment where students gain real-world experience, while impacting our local economy. It’s truly a win-win-win scenario.”

The College has also prioritized its Women in Tech Initiative to improve gender diversity in information and technology fields at a large scale, foster a more diverse and inclusive culture, and enhance leadership and career opportunities for women, while helping to tip the balance of the female information and technology talent supply. The program was founded in 2017 with a goal of increasing the number of female undergraduate students by 50 percent in five years and, just two years in, is almost halfway to meeting its objective. In addition, the Initiative raised more than one million dollars in scholarships for incoming undergraduate women, with more than 40 scholarships awarded so far.

CCI also recently expanded its reach overseas; this year, CCI partnered with Lanzhou University in China to offer a joint undergraduate program in data science. Along with Corporate Partner DXC Technology, the College also launched a DXC @ Drexel International Program to support more than 100 international employees in pursuing a two-year program in one of four of CCI’s master’s programs in computer science, data science, information systems, or software engineering.

Even with this recent growth, CCI shows no signs of slowing down.

The College will soon unveil a third floor to include additional offices, classrooms, a research lab, a maker space, and a ground-breaking DXC Technology Innovation Lab, which will help to foster and energize academic and research collaborations between DXC Technology employees and CCI faculty and students.

In addition to further expansions among its faculty and professional staff, the College will continue to develop new programs – such as a Master of Science and Certificate in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence next fall – to better respond to industry trends and train the next generation of leaders in digital transformation.

For more information on Drexel CCI, please visit their website at drexel.edu/cci.


Submitted by:

Kerry Boland, MS
Assistant Director, Creative Content and Publications
The College of Computing & Informatics

Drexel University
3675 Market Street, Ste 1000
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215.895.6271  |  Fax: 215.895.2494
drexel.edu/cci

 


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