Trustees approve 3 master's degree programs, Division of Military Science and Technology, psychological sciences program

July 18, 2014  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (July 18) approved a Master of Science degree in engineering technology in the College of Technology at the West Lafayette campus and Master of Science degrees in electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering at Purdue University Calumet.

Trustees also approved creating a Division of Military Science and Technology, which will serve as the academic and administrative home for ROTC programs, a cooperative education program for the Department of Psychological Sciences, and changing the name of the Department of History and Political Science at Purdue Calumet.

Mark J.T. Smith, dean of the Purdue Graduate School, said the master's degree in engineering technology is designed for traditional students and working professionals with bachelor's degrees in engineering technology, engineering, science or business disciplines seeking further development or knowledge of recent advances in the management, development and innovation of technology systems.

"Engineering technology is the profession devoted to the implementation and extension of technology for the benefit of humanity," Smith said. "Engineering technology programs are oriented toward application and innovation based upon the foundation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

The program, which is scheduled to begin this fall and needs approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, is the last of the master's proposals in a process started nearly 10 years ago to grow graduate programs in the College of Technology.

The master's degree programs in electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering at Purdue Calumet are being offered to meet a growing need for comprehensive and advanced engineering programs required by high-technology employment in Northwest Indiana, said Debasish "Deba" Dutta, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Purdue.

He said the programs are scheduled to begin this fall and need ICHE approval. The master's in electrical and computer engineering program also will provide a nationally recognized graduate program in electrical and computer engineering at Purdue Calumet; provide opportunities for qualified graduates who wish to pursue a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering; and establish a graduate program that nurtures discovery, synthesis and professional advancement. The master's in mechanical engineering program will help develop skills in problem solving, analysis, simulation, implementation and application development, provide tools for and foster lifelong learning in mechanical engineering, and assist mechanical engineering professionals in keeping their technical skills current.

As a unit within the College of Technology, the Division of Military Science and Technology will house ROTC programs that have been under Student Affairs, said Gary R. Bertoline, dean of the College of Technology. ROTC courses that previously were listed in the College of Liberal Arts will be listed in the College of Technology.

Bertoline said the migration of ROTC into the College of Technology is a natural fit both in academic scope and student enrollment. The college hosts the second largest number of ROTC students on the West Lafayette campus, and military science and technology is a well-represented topic for faculty and student research. The division will have three branch heads, which represent their respective disciplines: the head of Air Force ROTC, the head of Navy ROTC and the head of Army ROTC. He said there is widespread support to create the division and provide an academic home for ROTC programs.

The cooperative education program for the Department of Psychological Sciences will have several benefits, said Christine Ladisch, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

"Students will be able to practice what they have learned in the classroom and gain a better understanding of others in a work environment," she said. "They also will have the opportunity to identify opportunities for which they are best suited, gain confidence through experience and have a smoother transition into a job when they graduate."

The program is scheduled to start in the 2014-15 academic year and will consist of 12 months total work experience, which would usually begin in May or August following the student's sophomore year. A student must complete three registered cooperative education work periods to qualify for a university-issued cooperative education certificate.

The Department of History and Political Science in Purdue Calumet’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will be changed to the Department of History, Political Science and Economics. The name change aligns with a previously approved restructuring of the departments to establish a permanent academic home for economics.

Trustees also approved a request to move forward with a College of Technology aviation program in Qatar that would offer a bachelor's degree in aviation operations technology to students who have completed an associate degree at Qatar Aeronautical College (QAC) in Doha. The program, which focuses on aviation management and leadership, will be fully funded by the Qatar Foundation and staffed by Purdue administrators, faculty and staff.

Robert F. Cox, associate dean for globalization and engagement in the College of Technology, said a Purdue team will spend the first three years aligning the QAC program with Purdue degree requirements and expects to begin offering the Purdue academic program in fall 2017.

"This partnership benefits Purdue by expanding the university's global outreach and giving Purdue a global location," Cox said. "In addition to the opportunities for faculty development and student mobility and enrichment, it represents a substantial growth opportunity in research partnerships for Purdue and the College of Technology and also will enable us to broaden existing industry partnerships that could benefit Indiana businesses." 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu 

Sources: Debasish "Deba" Dutta, dutta@purdue.edu

Mark J.T. Smith, 765-494-2604, mjts@purdue.edu

Gary Bertoline, 765-496-6071, bertoline@purdue.edu

Christine Ladisch, 765-494-6970, ladischc@purdue.edu

Robert F. Cox, 765-494-7939, rfcox@purdue.edu

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