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Committee Report | February 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 11:40pm

SED Seal                                                                                   

 

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:

Frank Munoz

                       

SUBJECT:

Regents Permission to Operate in New York State:

Johns Hopkins University

DATE:

January 24, 2011

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

Summary

 
Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)

Should the Regents approve the proposed permission to operate in a limited capacity in New York State for Johns Hopkins University?

Reason(s) for Consideration

Required by State statute.

Proposed Handling

This question will come before the full Board at its February 2011 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken. 

Procedural History

Regents permission to operate in New York State is required by Section 224 of the Education Law which prohibits out-of-state colleges and universities from transacting business in New York without Regents permission.

Background Information

Johns Hopkins University (JHU), located in Baltimore, Maryland, proposes to offer its three credit hour Engineering Innovation (EI) course through a partnership with SUNY Jefferson Community College (JCC) in Watertown, New York.  Engineering Innovation is a college-level summer course for motivated high school students with an aptitude in mathematics and science and an interest in engineering. Students learn to think and problem-solve like an engineer during this intensive, hands-on program, for which they are able to earn three Johns Hopkins University credits. Applying their knowledge of mathematics and science to design, build and test mousetraps, model bridges, digital circuits and robotic cars, students are able to link concepts they have learned in the classroom to real engineering challenges. This five-year-old program already has been implemented at 10 sites across the country with successful results.  About 90 percent of EI alumni have gone on to major in engineering or science in college.

The mission of Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach is to increase the number of youth pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and careers, particularly women and underrepresented minorities. JHU offers EI nationally through partner colleges or universities who want to provide engineering educational outreach to their community. JHU provides the curriculum, hires and trains the instructors, creates and grades the examination, hires the external evaluator, and provides laboratory materials, marketing materials and other administrative support. Jefferson Community College (JCC), would provide the facilities (classroom, computer room, and laboratory space for four weeks and auditorium for the final day) and a site coordinator, recruit high school students to the program and recruit faculty (typically from their own college), and a high school teacher from a local school.

One of JCC’s strategic initiatives is to build relationships with area high schools. EI offers this New York State college a chance to meet this initiative by promoting and providing STEM educational outreach to area high school students and a professional development opportunity to a high school teacher trained to co-teach the course. The program also provides an opportunity for JCC to expand enrollment in its existing two-year engineering science program. Currently, JCC hosts a design-build competition for 140 high school students; however, momentum gets lost after the competition. By offering EI on their campus, they can give a more substantive enrichment opportunity to the competition participants and attract more high school students to their engineering science program. Graduates of JCC often transfer to various baccalaureate engineering programs and schools, typically with full-junior status. Transfer colleges such as Clarkson University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, SUNY Binghamton, and Syracuse University also offer engineering programs to high school students, but none are quite like EI. There are some that offer week-long engineering camps or allow exceptional students to attend college full-time after completing 11th grade. For example, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is offered in two area high schools through RIT and Clarkson. If EI is offered on the JCC campus, students from these summer camps and PLTW would have a place to further explore engineering in-state before entering college.  EI partners in other states have had success attracting EI alumni to their schools.

EI is unique because it is an intensive college-level course offered exclusively to high school students on a college campus. The students spend four weeks with a college professor and a high school teacher learning engineering and problem solving with a chance to earn college credit. EI is a broad-based, interdisciplinary course that introduces students to chemical, electrical, mechanical, civil and materials science engineering using proven teaching methods of hands-on activities and inquiry-based learning. Topics covered include strength and behavior of materials, statics and structures, uncertainty, statistics and measurement, robotics, digital logic and circuits, separation processes, diffusion and heat transfer.

The program targets college-bound high school students who have an interest in engineering and an aptitude in mathematics and science; 10th, 11th or 12th grade high school students need to have passed Algebra II, Trigonometry, a lab science class and have some familiarity with spreadsheets in order to be able to successfully complete the course. As part of the EI program, JHU helps its partner school recruit students from their community; each community differs in demographics. For JCC, the student body is an approximate mix of rural residential families (70%) and transient military families (30%) from Jefferson County, Lewis County and northern Oswego County. Successful completion of EI is expected to be a positive addition to the college applications for these high school students, especially if they are applying to engineering colleges or universities.

The EI initiative attempts to address the need to engage and educate tomorrow's engineers. JHU cites The National Academies' 2006 report, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm," which states that the future competitiveness of the U.S. in the world marketplace is threatened by a shortage of science and engineering talent. The program also attempts to address the under-representation of women and minorities in related technical fields.  According to the NYS Department of Labor, “by 2016, the 10 fastest growing occupations in New York State will require STEM competencies.” NCES Digest of Education Statistics; Science and Engineering Indicators, 2008 suggests that “the STEM pipeline is leaking badly, only about 4% of 2001’s 9th graders are expected to graduate from STEM majors in 2011.” The goal of the Empire State STEM Initiative Progressive Dialogue is to “identify ways to advance STEM education from PK-20 across NY State to ignite innovation and enable economic growth.”

           

Offering EI to high school students near JCC will benefit JCC because local high school students will get exposure to their campus and to one of their engineering professors, making it more likely that they would consider JCC for college. Increased enrollment at the community college-level ensures enhanced collaboration and engineering enrollments at four-year universities partnering with JCC. The community stands to benefit because money spent on college has a higher chance of staying in the community and in-demand engineers will be produced that can work in local engineering firms or start their own businesses enabling economic growth.

Consistent with its planning process, the Department conducted a canvass of all degree-granting institutions of higher education in the North Country region of New York State. The Department received no objections to the proposal.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Regents approve the proposed permission to operate, effective February 8, 2011, to authorize Johns Hopkins University to offer its three credit hour Innovations Engineering course to select high school students at State University of New York Jefferson Community College’s campus.

Timetable for Implementation

This approval will be effective until February 8, 2016.