Teachers Teaching Teachers – A STEM Program that Works

Like every ECPI University faculty member, Scott Adams is dedicated to helping students reach their potential. Now, through a new program, he is helping teachers do the same. He’s part of a new partnership between ECPI’s Richmond/Moorefield Campus and Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) that helps teachers gain recertification and delivers STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) to the classroom.

Every five years, teachers are required to accumulate a number of recertification points and college credits to maintain their standing. Because teachers must pay for the classes themselves and fit it into their busy schedules, this can be both costly and time consuming. To solve both problems, ECPI took one of its existing classes, Storyboarding for Animation, added specific lab exercises to accommodate teacher needs and created a schedule to fit their work hours, all at a price they could afford.

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ECPI University Professor Presents at International Conference

 ECPI University faculty member Corey Keating recently delivered a presentation at the International Conference on Computing and Missions in Doetinchem, Netherlands. Conference attendees came from all over Europe, with a few coming from the U.S. and Canada. The conference covered all aspects of technology and computing for mission organizations, many of which operate as international companies. The conference theme centered on mobile computing to enhance effective operations.

Mr. Keating’s security presentation focused on Deniable File Systems and was featured in the Advanced Technology Track. “Although encrypting data is a trivial task, the ability to plausibly deny the existence of truly sensitive data, even under the pressure of hostile adversaries, is a very difficult problem from a technological perspective, “says Keating. “I presented various methods and tools to maintain hidden, encrypted data. The methods ranged from fairly simplistic to very sophisticated, based on a person’s risk situation. Due to the potentially incriminating nature of this material to those traveling into hostile parts of the world, my presentation is not being published or made readily available to the public.”
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U.S. Navy Selects ECPI University to Teach Wounded Warriors

Navy College recently selected ECPI University to be among the first colleges and universities to participate in a pilot program to help injured Sailors and Marines continue their education through the Wounded Warrior Program. Classes will take place at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia and will involve 15 to 20 students at the outset.

“We are extremely pleased to be involved in such a worthwhile project,” says Bob Larned, ECPI University Executive Director of Military Education. “These brave men and women spend most of their morning hours in rehab, but find themselves with a fair amount of down time in the afternoon as they recover from the strenuous activity. Giving them an opportunity to use this time to better themselves and explore career and educational opportunities really gets them focused on the future.”

ECPI faculty member Gerry White will be teaching the first course, English Composition 110, beginning in June. Not only will the students learn how to write college-level essays, they will also learn to integrate all of the class material with today’s latest technology as the entire course is being taught using iPads.  “Students will learn how to use Apps for research, upload papers, participate in virtual discussion forums and interact with a variety of social media tools including Pinterest, Twitter and, of course, Facebook,” says White. “For many of these service members, the latest technology may have passed them by during their tours of duty. This course will not only enhance their writing skills but also develop their technological acumen.”

This extension of the Wounded Warrior Program reflects the Navy College mission: To provide continual academic support to Sailors while they pursue a technical or college degree, regardless of their location or duty station. “This program is a great way to wet their appetite and get them thinking about entering the higher education system,” says Larned. “Ultimately, it’s about improving their quality of their lives.”






ECPI University Impresses APSCU President

APSCU President Steve Gunderson and ECPI University President Mark Dreyfus meet with students Anthony Higa and Wendell Hughes in the Mechatronics Lab

Former Congressman Steve Gunderson just toured ECPI University’s Virginia Beach campus and came away thoroughly impressed. Appointed president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) earlier this year, Gunderson is conducting a fact-finding tour to collect information on best practices among member institutions.

Said Gunderson following his meeting with faculty and students, “I am going to call my friends at the White House and ask them to tell the President that if he wants to see a university that really approaches STEM education in a meaningful way, that consistently produces graduates with skills desperately needed in today’s economy and effectively serves veterans and people of color, he should come visit ECPI.”

President Obama has made it a priority to support efforts to improve education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). ECPI University President Mark Dreyfus says previous government efforts, while well-intentioned, have failed to focus on what’s really important. “Every bit as important as the curriculum is the method of delivery,” says Dreyfus. “ECPI’s hands-on approach blends knowledge and classroom learning in a way that resonates with all types of learners and produces graduates who can apply that knowledge the moment they enter the workplace.”

With a large skills gap and many unfilled jobs in the nation’s increasingly automated manufacturing sector, many employers are now looking to educators to step forward and help them address a growing problem: with a significant percentage of manufacturing technologists preparing to retire in the next 10 years, who will replace them? Steve Gunderson believes schools like ECPI University have a great deal to offer. He says “we need to change the conversation and set in place a plan to meet America’s skill demands. If we succeed, we will not only heal our ailing economy but re-establish a vibrant middle class.”