Re-packaging the fundamentals in graduate professional studies: Thriving in a corporate setting

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This paper discusses the need to adopt marketing-friendly curricula and syllabi in graduate engineering education based upon the experience of developing a new Masters of Software Engineering degree in the heart of "the Silicon Valley of the (US) East Coast". Penn State Great Valley, School of Graduate Professional Studies is a first-of-its-kind graduate school located within a corporate center housing the likes of Lockheed Martin, Unisys, Safeguard Scientific and Microsoft. It is also one of 75 colleges in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area! The competition for good graduate students is, therefore, extremely fierce and has forced the faculty to construct degree programs that not only meet the academic expectations of graduate education, but align closely with the interests of the local corporations and the desires of a forward-thinking, career-minded student body. This has led to the near-extinction of several fundamental subject areas including numerical methods, switching and sequential machine theory, programming language concepts and compiler design favoring, instead, areas such as e-commerce, web-based IT, visual programming and GUI design. While this reflects the flavor of the day, it risks neglecting the necessary basics of a graduate engineering education unless a concerted effort is made to repackage those fundamentals as parts of the glamorous-sounding offerings. This paper describes how this has been achieved at Penn State Great Valley.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-73
Number of pages5
JournalIEE Colloquium (Digest)
Issue number46 I
StatePublished - Jan 4 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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