The Teacher of Tomorrow

With student demographics shifting and the internet at our fingertips, UMUC faculty discuss what it means to teach and how the role of the teacher is evolving in the 21st century.

Editor’s note: This article is featured in the Spring 2018 edition of Achiever, the magazine of University of Maryland University College.

Gro Torsethaugen was perplexed.

A student in her biology lab class had submitted a data set from an experiment designed to measure the effect of pH levels on the germination of radish seeds. The assignment called for students to add vinegar to one dish, baking soda to another, water to a third—as a control—and compare the growth rate for seeds in each of the dishes.Continue Reading

University of Maryland University College Launches Campaign Highlighting Historic Mission and “Hustle” of its Students

Adelphi, Md. (August 14, 2018)—University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has launched a new advertising campaign—“Made for You”—that highlights the institution’s historic mission: to bring quality, affordable education to adult and military students outside of the traditional college campus as it has for more than 70 years. The campaign celebrates the hard work and “hustle” that students display as they juggle family, jobs, and even military service while they pursue their educational goals.

“We know our students’ lives are hectic, and they hustle to get things done,” said Erika Orris, the chief marketing officer at UMUC, touching on a theme that runs through the campaign’s television, radio, digital and print ads.

UMUC students don’t just hustle because of their personalities. They hustle because they have lives outside of school, many have families, and all have goals and dreams. And no matter how complicated or difficult their schedules, they dig in and do more in the interest of building the future they want for themselves and for those they love.

“Our mission of providing affordable, accessible, quality education to adults in the workforce has remained unchanged for more than 70 years,” said UMUC President Javier Miyares. “Just as important, our innovative spirit has remained strong and steady and has allowed us to be pioneers in using technology to improve how we teach and how students learn.”

UMUC has prided itself on being in the vanguard. In 1949, it became the first university to send faculty overseas to teach active-duty military students stationed in postwar Europe. In the mid-1990s, the university was an early adopter of the Internet as a platform for offering courses. Today, nearly 95 percent of its courses are fully online or hybrid, with the remainder taught on military bases around the world. And all of UMUC’s 90-plus programs—including in hot fields such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and homeland security—can be completed online.

UMUC has also drawn positive national headlines for student-friendly initiatives, such as replacing costly publisher textbooks in most courses with Open Educational Resources—educational materials in the public domain. And currently, the university is redesigning its academic curriculum to put greater emphasis on experiential learning in which students focus on completing real-life projects rather than theoretical ones.

At the same time, UMUC has maintained a focus on affordability and is justifiably proud of the results.

“Our students can complete an MBA or master’s in cybersecurity or data analytics for less than $25,000—in state or out-of-state—and they can complete it in 18 months if they take one class every term,” Orris said. UMUC’s undergraduate degrees are under $60,000 for out-of-state students, less than many other schools, and the university offers a wide variety of scholarships, both to in-state and out-of-state students, to help make education even more affordable.

UMUC also has established alliances with 96 companies, including GEICO, MedStar Health and the global consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, as well as a first-of-its-kind agreement forged in 2014 with the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management, to help build the skills of employees through discounted tuition programs.

Watch the ads:

“Hustle” TV Commercial

“Made for You” TV Commercial

 

Print and digital images:

From Nigeria to the U.S. Department of Defense: IASP Scholarship Recipient’s Journey Leads to a Cybersecurity Career

It was the Diversity Visa lottery that helped set University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) recipient Charles Kolawole’s course for a career in cybersecurity and good fortune. Kolawole, one of the visa-lottery winners in 2006, came into the United States on January 27, 2007, in search of greener pastures and an opportunity to compete on a global stage.Continue Reading

UMUC Students Use Big Data to Tell a Personal Story in Winning IBM Watson Analytics Global Competition in Shanghai

Mwalimu Phiri, part of a three-member team from University of Maryland University College (UMUC), stood before a panel of judges in Shanghai, China, discussing the impact of air pollution in sub-Saharan Africa. The presentation focused on how traditional cooking and heating fuels compromise the health of 3 billion people every year, disproportionately children under age 5.

The “Effects of Household Air Pollution” project may have focused on big data, but it was a photo of a young child building a wood fire in Zambia that captured the audience’s attention at the May 29 presentation.

It was a photo of Phiri.Continue Reading

Mission Impact: UMUC Launches Philadelphia Outreach

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) was established with a bold goal more than 70 years ago: to bring knowledge to adult learners. After teaching generations of Maryland families and the U.S. military around the world, the pioneer in online education is launching a campaign to carry its reputation—and more than 90 academic programs—to the Philadelphia market.Continue Reading

RSAC Security Scholar Program Gives UMUC Students a Leg Up in Their Cybersecurity Careers

For Greg Hawkins, an early interest in computers inspired a career in cryptologic systems. One of his first jobs in the U.S. Air Force was working in cryptology on a satellite communications project. Now retired after more than 22 years of active duty, Hawkins, who graduated from University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in December 2017 with a master’s in information technology, was eager to attend the 2018 RSA Conference (RSAC) at San Francisco in April to network and consider what certifications he should get to advance his career.Continue Reading

Servicemembers Honored at UMUC’s Information-Packed, Fun-Filled Military Appreciation Fair

For Devlon Alexander, the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) “Military Appreciation Fair and Fun Run,” sponsored by General Dynamics Mission Systems and held at the university’s Academic Center at Largo in early May, signified an intimate rehearsal for his impending graduation from UMUC over Mother’s Day weekend.Continue Reading

Watch the Interview: Helping Student Veterans Get a Foothold in Civilian Life

On May 18, Yvette Branson, clinical psychologist and coordinator of the U.S. Veterans Administration’s Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) initiative, discussed the challenges facing veterans making the transition from military to civilian and student life—and the strategies and resources that can help them gain a strong foothold in the world beyond the military—as part of the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) special Facebook Live interview series in observance of Military Appreciation Month. Watch the replay of Branson’s interview here.Continue Reading

Maryland Senate President Miller to UMUC Graduates: You Have Brass

Whether active-duty military, veteran or civilian, all University of Maryland University College (UMUC) graduates have the brass required to make their dream of a higher education come true, said Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr., president of the Maryland Senate and keynote speaker for the first of three separate UMUC commencement ceremonies held on Saturday and Sunday May 12 and 13 at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland.  Continue Reading