Category: Michigan Tech Global Campus

News about Michigan Tech Global Campus: home of MTU’s online programs.

Michigan Tech Signs on to MEDC’s Semiconductor Talent Action Team

Securing state-wide chip production is crucial to several manufacturing industries, such as mobility, and to maintaining the health of Michigan’s economy.

On November 17, 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined forces with The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to form the Semiconductor Talent Action Team (TAT). This collaboration, a public/private alliance led by the MEDC, aims at making Michigan a leader in semiconductor talent, production, and growth.

MEDC’s Talent Action Team involves this organization, the State of Michigan, SEMI (an industry association for global electronics design and its manufacturing supply chain), and four key universities: Michigan Technological University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. Other partners include key community colleges.

 The Semiconductor TAT has several goals:

  • Expanding the development of Michigan-created semiconductors
  • Ensuring the onshoring of both legacy and advanced semiconductor systems
  • Creating well-paying manufacturing jobs
  • Reducing semiconductor shortages
  • Securing the supply chain

Addressing the Semiconductor Shortage

Semiconductors are the foundation for integrated circuits (or microchips), which are vital components in manufacturing. Semiconductors are material products that lie between insulators (glass) and pure conductors (such as copper and aluminum). These versatile products can have their conductivity altered (through the addition of impurities) to meet the needs of various devices. Chips are found in appliances, medical equipment, gaming devices, smartphones, computers, and, increasingly, automobiles.

In short, they’re everywhere.

But COVID put the brakes on chip production. Labor problems, the shutting down of assembly lines, the closing of factories, and disruptions of the global supply chain all contributed to a semiconductor shortage. There were also drastic reductions in raw materials and substrates and slowdowns in crucial processing steps, such as wire bonding and testing. As a result, consumers were unable to purchase electronic devices as well as larger goods such as appliances and vehicles.

Protecting the Automotive Industry

But the global semiconductor shortage caused significant problems for the automotive industry, driving down both production and sales. Some companies, such as GM, were even forced to build vehicles that were missing parts. By some estimates, the reductions in automotive sales were extreme: down by 80% in Europe, 70% in China, and nearly 50% in the United States.

Why the plummeting sales? Even the most basic automobile is heavily reliant upon semiconductors. That is, the average car can contain more than 100 chips. These tiny devices power such necessary components as the navigation display, digital speedometer, and fuel-pressure sensors.

More sophisticated vehicles, on the other hand, may contain thousands of these chips. For instance, these chips are found in advanced safety features, electrical and powertrain systems, and connectivity components.

And the need for these chips in expanding. Market research company Yole predicts that by 2026, semiconductors in cars will value $78.5 billion dollars, which adds up to a 14.75% CAGR from 2020.

Therefore, securing the semiconductor supply chain is especially crucial to the mobility industry, and, by extension, to Michigan’s economy. To help prevent these shortages and their repercussions, and to further tap into the burgeoning semiconductor market, Michigan’s Semiconductor TAT  is on board to secure the state’s semiconductor production.

Accessing Michigan’s Semiconductor Talent

Michigan is well-suited to take advantage of these funding opportunities. The state has a history of semiconductor manufacturing. That is, Michigan is home to Hemlock (semiconductors), SK Siltron (semiconductor wafers), and KLA (semiconductor R & D and supply). Even closer to Michigan Tech is Calumet Electronics, which has been in Calumet since 1968. This Michigan company specializes in manufacturing printed circuit boards for the domestic industrial, power, aerospace, defense, medical, and commercial markets.

What’s more. This state has almost 50 semiconductor-related courses and programs. Michigan Tech, for instance, from its undergraduate to graduate degrees in materials engineering, mechanical engineering, and its electrical and computer engineering ; as well as its specialized graduate certificates in manufacturing engineering and automotive systems, has a long history in preparing students for all things semiconductors. Whether its the materials from which they are made, to their design, processing, properties, applications, integrations, and even their repurposing, Tech has a program. The university also has a history of collaborating with the automotive industry and helping to ensure its success.

Furthermore, on May 5, 2022, The Michigan Strategic Fund approved the Semiconductor Technician Apprenticeship Network Program. Michigan is one of only three states, in fact, that is launching plans to define curricula that will support employers in the semiconductor industry.

In short, both Michigan Tech and the state have the drive, talent, resources, and history to advance semiconductor production and to make Michigan a leader on both the national and global stages.

Making a Historic Investment in Chip Technology

The Semiconducor TAT answers the call of the bipartisan 2022 CHIPS and Science Act (August 9, 2022). Nearly a year in the making, this act implemented previous programs under the 2021 CHIPS for America Act (January 2021). It also authorized nearly $250 billion in semiconductors and scientific research and development. This monumental amount adds up to the country’s largest publicly funded R & D program.

The CHIPS and Science Act responds not only to semiconductor shortages, but also to the decline in American microchip fabrication. That is, in January 2021, the US manufactured 12% of the world’s chips, which is down from 37% in the 1990s.

The act, which focuses on building key critical semiconductor technologies in the United States, has several goals:

  • Building a stronger and more diverse workforce
  • Creating high-paying technical manufacturing jobs
  • Supporting and extending American manufacturing
  • Investing in American science and innovation
  • Rebuilding and securing our supply chains

Most of the act’s funds ($169.9 billion) are dedicated to research and innovation. These funds are dispersed among several foundations, which include the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

All departments will expand semiconductor research, development, training, and talent. For instance, in its budget, NSF’s mandate is investing in research, building a STEM workforce, and expanding rural STEM education.

Supporting the Growth of Local and State Economies

The act also directs the DOC to create 20 geographically distributed regional technology hubs. These hubs will focus on developing technology, creating jobs, promoting U.S. innovation, and providing economic development activities for distressed communities.

Besides the $169.9 billion dedicated to research, there is a $54.2-billion-dollar federal advancement for domestic semiconductor production and public wireless supply chain innovation. $39 billion, the responsibility of the Department of Commerce (DOC) Manufacturing Incentives, is allocated to building, extending, and modernizing domestic semiconductor facilities. Another $200 million is for jump-starting the development of the domestic semiconductor workforce, which has faced extreme labor shortages.

In short, the CHIPS and Science Act will support American manufacturing and create jobs, It will also ensure that, when it comes to STEM education, semiconductor research, and chip production, the US will be a global force.

Taking First Crucial Steps: What’s Next for the TAT?

The ultimate goal of the Semiconductor TAT is to help Michigan access funding in order to increase its STEM workforce. Another objective is leveraging the state’s talent, assets, resources, so that it leads the future of the semiconductor industry.

But big goals begin with small steps. The TAT’s first objective is having its partners form advisory boards. These boards will provide strategic direction on the semiconductor programs, talent, and research that exist at Michigan’s universities and colleges. They will also analyze the “broader semiconductor and technology ecosystem” to develop a better understanding of industry needs for semiconductors.

The university community looks forward to learning about Michigan Tech’s contributions to the Semiconductor TAT as well as this group’s ongoing initiatives.

Michigan Tech Joins Nexteer in Fellowship Education Partnership

Electric vehicles. Connected software-enabled automobiles. Advanced electric power and steer-by-wire systems. As these advances and others demonstrate, keeping pace with the transformation of technologies in the automotive industry is both an opportunity and a challenge. Both Michigan Technological University and Nexteer Automotive understand that higher education offers one avenue to develop solutions for these evolving trends and technologies.

Therefore, to help meet ongoing industry needs, Michigan Tech and Nexteer have joined forces.

On October 20, 2022, leaders from Michigan Tech and Global Campus visited Nexteer Automotive’s Global Technical Center in Saginaw, Michigan. The purpose: signing an Education Partnership Agreement with Nexteer Automotive.

This unique agreement will allow Nexteer employees to pursue advanced degrees from Michigan Tech. By doing so, they get to develop their interests, level up their education, and acquire in-demand skills. Furthermore, employees will also gain the benefits of furthering their own competitive advantages while acquiring the industry-specific knowledge needed for Nexteer’s high-growth areas. And for Nexteer, this fellowship will attract, retain, and grow its talented workforce. 

How does this partnership work? Current Nexteer employees will receive fellowships to enroll in one of Michigan Tech’s online graduate certificates or master’s degree programs. These fellowships are available for up to four years, provided the recipients continue to meet Tech’s eligibility requirements.

Leaders from Michigan Tech and Nexteer at the signing ceremony. Robin Milavec (President, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Sales Officer, & Executive Board Director of Nexteer) shakes hands with Michigan Tech President Richard Koubek.

Building Bridges with Nexteer Automotive

The fellowship program is part of Global Campus’s missions to a) build relationships between academia and industry; and b) make quality online education more accessible to diverse adult learners.

Robin Milavec, Nexteer’s President, CTO, CSO, & Executive Board Director, also spoke of the importance of partnerships between industry and education. He recognized that Nexteer resides in a “dynamic environment where technology is rapidly changing.” Collaborating with a university, then, make sense. This program, which makes “continuing educational development opportunities” more accessible, will help Nexteer achieve its goals.

Overall, it’s a win-win relationship. That is, Nexteer gets to “to tap into a very rich pipeline of talent and skills that we need to fuel our future growth.” Also, Michigan Tech is “able to tap into industry and see their challenges.”

Milavec also recognized the competencies and preparedness of Michigan Tech graduates, noting their valued ability to “hit the ground running.”

Robin Milavec, President, CTO, CSO, & Executive Board Director of Nexteer

In terms of attracting, retaining, and growing our employees, the partnership with Michigan Tech is really one of the foundational elements of our future. . . it gives us that lifeline into continuing education so our employees can continue to develop and help us solve our industry-specific problems.

Robin Milavec, President, CTO, CSO, & Executive Board Director of Nexteer

Working with an Industry Innovator

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Nexteer is a leading motion control technology company with a global reach. Currently, the organization has 27 manufacturing plants, with multiple operations in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Collaborating with Nexteer is a natural fit for Michigan Tech. At the signing ceremony, President Koubek affirmed that Michigan Tech is “a bit unique as an institution, in that our founding legislation established that we are to help advance” Michigan’s industries. “This partnership helps us to actualize that responsibility.”

Furthermore, Tech also has a long history of working with the automotive industry. Our university offers several online certificates and degrees that help students develop skills in automotive technologies: Online Hybrid Electric Drive Engineering Vehicle CertificateAutomotive Systems and Controls Certificate, Control systems, and Vehicle dynamics.

And Tech’s educational mission of “discovering new knowledge through research, and launching new technologies through innovation” aligns well with Nexteer’s vision of striving for “relentless innovation.” The company is also respected for delivering high-quality, next-level electric power and steer-by-wire systems, steering columns, driveline systems, and driver-assistance systems. A few of Nexteer’s clients include BMW, Ford, General Motors, Renault-Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, General Motors, Stellantis, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

Collaborating to Prepare for Industry 4.0

The signing ceremony was just the first step in a long and fruitful relationship between Michigan Tech and Nexteer.

Next, David Lawrence and his Global Campus team will hold a series of in-person and virtual interest sessions to Nexteer employees. These sessions will explain more details about and the benefits of this unique program.

Higher education will equip Nexteer Automotive employees to meet the challenges of the mobility revolution. It will also prepare them to address the technological developments of Industry 4.0. Or, as President Koubek put it, Tech is both honored and excited to partner with organizations such as Nexteer. They “will be the ones that are transforming and leading our country in the fourth industrial revolution.”

Michigan Tech and Global Campus look forward to working with Nexteer Automotive and helping to grow the organization’s success. We are also happy to welcome Nexteer employees into our university community.

Michigan Tech + Stellantis: Collaboration and Innovation

(Writer’s note: this is a slightly revised, previously published article.)

Opening Up New Educational Pathways for Michigan Tech Students

The main initiatives of the Michigan Tech Global Campus are growing programs, promoting online learning, and raising awareness of Tech’s online offerings. Along with these, though, David Lawrence, Vice-President for Global Campus and Continuing Education, is always searching for additional opportunities. He strives to develop mutually beneficial partnerships between academia and industry. He seeks new educational pathways for all students, whether they are undergraduates or graduates.

Meeting these latter two goals is the main purpose of Stellantis’ PReP. PReP, or the Propulsion System Readiness Engineering Program, is an educational partnership between Michigan Tech and automotive company Stellantis. If you haven’t heard of Stellantis, it is a global company that comprises several European and American-rooted iconic brands. Its brands include, but are not limited to, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, Peugeot, and Ram. Stellantis is also a respected automotive industry leader. It aspires to be “the greatest sustainability mobility tech company” as well as a front runner in advancing technology for the mobility revolution. Several Michigan Tech alumni also work at this innovative organization.

PReP: Preparing for the Mobility Revolution

PReP will benefit both Michigan Tech students and Stellantis. That is, students will acquire automotive systems knowledge, work experience, and applicable skills. The end result: having the necessary tools to transition into a Stellantis position, spring boarding their careers.

This program, targeted at incoming Michigan Tech Junior students, will supplement the last two years of their engineering degrees. That is, on top of their regular program courses, students will take both core (year three) and advanced courses (year four) that focus on vehicle electrification. For instance, some of the core courses in the first semester include Propulsion Architecture, Engine/eMotor, Transmission/Axle, Battery, Fuel economy/Emissions, Power Electronics, and Communication.

Along with attending weekly lectures from Stellantis propulsion experts, students will also get valuable hands-on experience. They will take facility tours, participate in teardowns, and have paid summer and senior-year internships. Through these experiences and mentorships with industry experts, they will develop communication, leadership, and professional skills.

Partnering with an Industry Leader

Michigan Tech’s mission is to strive to

create solutions for society’s challenges by delivering action-based undergraduate and graduate education, discovering new knowledge through research, and launching new technologies through innovation.

Michigan Tech Vision/Mission

Similar to Michigan Tech, Stellantis is also committed to developing advanced technology while promoting sustainability and transparency. Stellantis strives to balance financial and environmental needs. Its Dare Forward initiative (March 2022) further expanded and quantified these goals. That is, the company has pledged to increase its remote workforce, put more battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) on American roads, and reduce its carbon footprint by 50%. In other words, sustainability is not solely a buzzword for Stellantis, but similar to our university’s sustainability promise, part of its ongoing strategic initiatives.

Both Michigan Tech and Stellantis value diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Stellantis’ community of employees spans over six regions and comprises over 170 nationalities. And the company is not stopping here. It is also striving to create a more equitable workplace for women. In fact, by 2030, its goal is having women holding at least 35% of all leadership positions.

Applying to the PReP

The PReP program, which should start in Fall 2023, will be available to a limited number of Michigan Tech students who

  • are enrolled as either electrical or mechanical engineering majors
  • sophomores who have at least two years available in their degree program
  • have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA

Students must commit to participating enthusiastically in the program, attending all the lectures and events, and meeting other rigorous criteria.

Stay tuned for more announcements about eligibility and application.

And while you are here, please extend a big thank-you to the bridge-building and creative thinking of David Lawrence. In his role as Vice President for Global Campus and Continuing Education, Lawrence is not only looking out for Michigan Tech’s online programs, but also the entire university community. When opportunity knocks, Lawrence does his best to be there, making sure our university is right there alongside him.

Engineering and Public Policy: Connections and Opportunities

Houghton’s Agate Street after the Devastating 2018 Father’s Day Flood:

Just One of the Tough Repair Projects Tackled by Engineers

Remembering the Father’s Day Flood

On June 17, 2018, Houghton County experienced torrential rain, which some called a 1000-year event. Seven inches of rain fell in under nine hours. Roads were washed out. The Ripley neighborhood was decimated as a landslide tore downhill, wiping out peoples’ homes. The rain damaged over half of the 160 culverts on the Calumet-Hecla recreational trail. It flooded multiple homes and damaged yards. All in all, the Father’s Day Flood created 60 sinkholes and 150 road washouts. It left behind 42-million-dollar bill for road repair alone. Property damage is still being estimated.

Also destroyed was the Swedetown Gorge, the highlight of the Maasto-Hiihto trail system in Hancock, MI. The rain transformed its gentle stream into a raging river that uprooted trees and tossed boulders. Bridges collapsed, their wooden structures and concrete slabs jutting precariously out of the water. The trail on which people hike, ski, and bike suddenly became unnavigable.

But how to repair this trail? Where to get the money? There were public consultations. There was debate. Typically, people seek funding for recreational trail infrastructure projects through Michigan’s DNR grant programs. However, a lot of money was needed for the Swedetown Gorge Recovery Project. So engineers and project managers decided to take a different tactic. They went to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Navigating Policies and Programs

A crucial step for project planners was consulting FEMA’s 217-page Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide. One goal: making the argument that the trail system was a public facility (park) eligible for substantial funding. According to Michael Markham (OHM Advisors), his engineering firm “collected information on all the damaged sites, estimated the cost of repairs, designed, and bid out the project.” The city filed applications and proposed budgets. Because the project took so long to approve, OHM had to collaborate with three separate city managers. Eventually, The Swedetown gorge project got the green flag in late Jan 2021.

As this example demonstrates, engineers waded through several policies at every stage of this project. In other words, public policy knowledge is not solely for those in government and political careers. It is also for engineers.

That is the argument that Dr. Adam Wellstead, director of the Online Certificate in Public Policy, made to the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering (CEGE). On October 4, 2022, Dr. Wellstead presented at the CEGE department meeting. There, he articulated the connections between public policy and environmental engineering.

Although there is a high demand for policy analysts, he noted that there is even a higher demand for engineering graduates with a policy background. For instance, both state and local governments as well as public policy consulting firms require engineers with public policy skills. In fact, whether they’re planning infrastructure, bridges, or water systems, CEG engineers regularly have to consider local, state, and federal policies. They must conduct risk assessments, consult with publics, and understand the policy process. They must frequently examine issues through a public management lens.

Pursuing Public Policy Online

The Department of Social Science‘s online public policy certificate can help fill the demand for engineers with policy experience. Consisting of three 7-week courses (The Policy Process, Public Management, and the Policy Cycle), this certificate equips graduates with the fundamental skills to work as public policy experts in several fields. Students can also complete it in only two semesters. Along with Dr. Wellstead, the program’s teaching team comprises four other experts with diverse public policy perspectives. They are Angie Carter, Associate Professor of Sociology; Mark Rouleau, Associate Professor; Carolin Sjöholm, Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor; and Shan Zhou, Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy.

Regardless of their background, students can add value to their graduate or undergraduate degrees with this certificate. They can tap into the strong demand for policy-related careers. In particular, this program especially appeals to Michigan Tech’s BS and MS students considering employment in government agencies.

Proposing Engineering and Public Policy Programs

With this online public policy certificate, MTU currently joins other respected schools who have similar programs, such as Arizona, Auburn, and Michigan State.

Other prestigious universities also offer engineering and public policy programs (Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern, Delaware). Using these as examples, Wellstead proposed developing a similar program at Michigan Tech. One possibile joint program with CEGE is the Accelerated Environment and Energy Policy MS degree plus Public Policy Certificate option. He also suggested existing programs that would complement public policy, such as the online certificates in water resources modeling, geospatial data science and technology, and structural engineering (hazard analysis). These stackable certificates would allow CEGE students to combine their specific expertise with public policy skills.

Considering Next Steps

At the end of his presentation, Dr. Wellstead answered questions, considered comments, and planned the next steps. Several faculty members brought up additional connections between public policy and CEGE. Others suggested courses for the online public policy certificate, such as program evaluation.

To further analyze program viability and gauge interest, Dr. Wellstead will continue researching comparable programs, meeting with students, and exploring the linkages between public policy and engineering. In doing so, Dr. Wellstead is helping to achieve three of goals of the Michigan Tech Global Campus: promoting online learning; offering in-demand knowledge and skills; and opening up new educational pathways to diverse learners.

Online Learning: Not New, but Definitely Improved

Online Learning Has A Long History

A few weeks ago, this author made a Global Campus Facebook post about one of Michigan Tech’s online programs. Almost immediately, one of my husband’s friends sarcastically piped in: “What is this place? University of P—-ix?” At first, his comment confused me. Surely he knew that Michigan Tech, which began as a brick-and-mortar mining school, is obviously very different from that other for-profit online university. But his words also annoyed me. His tone implied that online learning is new, less credible, and less effective than traditional learning. These claims are all untrue.

Online Learning: From Correspondence Courses to MOOCs

Online learning is definitely not new; it has its roots in early distance education. In fact, you could trace its origins all the way back to 1728 when a struggling teacher, Caleb, offered to teach shorthand to students by exchanging letters. Over 150 years later, in 1892, the University of Chicago offered its first correspondence course. Then came radio-broadcasted, televised, and even phone-based courses. Admittedly, some of these first distance courses were “canned” and quite text-heavy. They involved little creativity, self-pacing, or instructor interaction. These instructor-focused courses had the goal of transmitting as much information as possible.

Both synchronous and asynchronous online learning sped up in the 1990s. Huge players such as Michigan State, CAL-Campus, and the UK’s Open University blazed the way. Michigan Tech also stepped in; its current Online Hybrid Electric Vehicle Engineering Certificate, in fact, is based on a 1990’s distance-learning course initially developed by Tech, General Motors, and AVL. This is just one of the online automotive programs offered by Tech.

Improvements in online learning were enhanced by e-learning and learning management systems, such as Blackboard (1997). WebCT, YouTube, and MOOCS further transformed online education. Theories of online learning and best practices for designing and teaching online courses also improved both teaching and learning experiences. For instance, Michigan Tech’s own William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning offers resources for designing, teaching, and reviewing online courses. Combined, these changes helped to make online education more accessible, interactive, and student-focused.

The Pandemic: Forcing a Shift

The pandemic made universities offer hybrid and online options. Students, teachers, and employers suddenly experienced the benefits of online learning. The result: more visibility and credibility for online courses. According to a recent New America poll, the belief in the quality of online learning actually increased by 16% during the pandemic.

A CNN survey also confirmed that 83 percent of the hiring executives said that an accredited online degree is as credible as one earned through a traditional on-campus program. Michigan Tech, continuously accredited since 1928, and which offers over 40 online certificates and degrees, is obviously a smart choice for your online education. And we’re working hard to develop new online programs, such as the recent TechMBA® and the Public Policy Certificate.

Other Benefits of Online Learning

The reputation of online learning probably suffers from the designs of early distance courses. These mainly consisted of students working through massive mail-ordered materials and contacting their instructors only periodically. Things have definitely changed since then.

That is, research has shown that online learning is as good as and, for some students, better than face-to-face instruction. In a recently published systematic review of thirty-two studies that analyzed both online teaching and learning, the authors found no significant difference in reduced effectiveness for online courses. The study did recognize, though, that for online courses and programs to succeed, courses needed to be well-designed, provide very structured online discussions, and incorporate interactive content and timely instructor feedback.

Others have commended online courses for enhancing learning and retention. The Research Institute of America puts this increase at 25-60% more. Why? For many students, the structure, multimedia content, frequent discussions, and flexibility of online courses maintain their attention. Involved students are then more likely to keep going and not drop their programs. IBM even found that in online courses with multimedia content, students learn five times more material than those in traditional face-to-face classes. There is also the freedom of working at your own pace. That is, for those students who feel bored or rushed in a traditional classroom setting, online courses allow them to move slowly through some challenging materials while skimming easier ones.

We need to bring people to learning rather than learning to people.

Elliot Masie

Rich Classroom Communities, Greener Learning

Online courses also offer the opportunity to learn from students with a plethora of perspectives, interpretations, and solutions. And, from the author’s own research and experience, online courses often have this benefit: richer, more engaging discussions that include more learners, especially those who might not be as vocal in the face-to-face classroom.

And for those concerned about the environment, online learning is also the greener option. According to the Open University, students in online courses “consume 90% less energy and release 85% less CO2” than those in traditional in-person courses.

Time Management is the Key to Success

Despite its various benefits, online learning is not the easier option. Students must work hard, make a plan, and dedicate time to study. They must be self-motivated and organized. They must stay connected with other students and regularly interact with their instructors. Thankfully, Michigan Tech has several resources and even a self-paced course, which can help students tackle the challenges and receive the benefits of online programs.

As someone who has been both a student in and teacher of online courses, I’d advise that earlier guy, as well as others, to give online learning a try. Instead of having something to lose, you have a lot to gain: the flexibility and freedom to work in your own space and at your own pace; and the opportunity to learn what you love while fulfilling personal and professional goals. If you think that online learning is right for you, check out Michigan Tech’s online certificates and degrees.

New Bridge Course: Linear Algebra for Applied Statistics

Learn Linear Algebra Fundamentals

New Non-Credit Course: Linear Algebra

Two of the main goals of Michigan Tech’s Global Campus are promoting Michigan Tech’s current online programs and developing new online courses, certificates, and programs. Another is ensuring that non-credit continuing education, whether it is professional development, professional learning, short online courses, or specialized corporate training, meets the evolving needs of learners. Global Campus also aims to provide continuing education that is practical, flexible, and accessible.

One type of continuing education is bridge courses. Bridge courses are short, intensive, preparatory online courses that help learners acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to enter advanced study. This study might mean an undergraduate program, graduate degree, or graduate certificate. Often, bridge courses are for students who are provisionally accepted into a program.

Global Campus, thanks to the dedication, enthusiasm, and expertise of Teresa Woods, Associate Teaching Professor in Mathematical Sciences, is rolling out its first bridge course: Linear Algebra. This ten-week, asynchronous online course is aimed at prospective students who want to enroll in our innovative Online Master of Science in Applied Statistics program. Linear Algebra: A Bridge Course begins on Monday, January 23, 2023. (Woods will publish the course no later than Sunday, January 22.)

Specifically designed to meet the enrollment requirements for the Online MS in Applied Statistics, the practical curriculum covers fundamental linear concepts as used in Applied Statistics. Some of the topics include, but are not limited to, systems of equations, vectors, matrices, orthogonality, subspaces, and the eigenvalue problem.

Teresa Woods has carefully planned the course so that students effectively learn the material by having regular instructor interaction and receiving timely feedback. After watching instructor-led videos in which Woods demonstrates concepts, students work through auto-graded exercises in MyLab Math; three times during the course, students complete review exercises for which they receive extensive feedback and guidance.

Woods, MS (Math) and MS (Ed), brings her enthusiasm for math, her knowledge of teaching elementary linear algebra, and her extensive course-design experience to this online bridge course. With her, students will have a learning experience that is challenging yet rewarding.

For more information about this course, such as cost and materials, visit the Linear Algebra Bridge Course webpage. You can also register for this course through The Techshop. If you are unsure about whether this course is right for you, please contact the instructor, Teresa Woods (; or the Director of Graduate Enrollment Services, Jacque Smith (

Michigan Tech and Global Campus: Ready for the Mobility Revolution

Innovative Automotive Research

Investing in Michigan

Home to almost 1/5 of all American automobile production facilities. Headquarters to 71 of the major automotive suppliers. The largest population of engineers in any state. These are some of the reasons Michigan is a natural for leading the mobility revolution. And Michigan’s combination of facilities and talent is drawing investment, especially in the funding of innovative technologies related to vehicles.

For instance, General Motors pledged a historic 7-billion dollars to create 5,000 jobs. And then Ford joined in with a $2-billion dollar investment. Ford’s commitment will secure Michigan’s internal combustion engine portfolio, support future electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing growth, and grow 3,200 jobs. Michigan lawmakers also created a 1-billion dollar fund to attract Electric Vehicle (EV) technology.

These developments bode well for the automotive industry of the Great Lakes State. And even more so for higher-education institutions that specialize in engineering and STEM, such as Michigan Tech.

Reskilling for the Evolving Automotive Industry

The mobility revolution will require the reskilling of the current automotive workforce. It will also speed up the training of software developers, engineering technicians, electrical and electronics engineers, systems engineers, and first-line supervisors. From the manufacturing floor to the design room to the manager’s office, those in the automotive industry will need additional education. They will need skills in the fundamentals of electrified vehicles, batteries and electric storage, automotive systems, controls, communication networks, signal processing, and cybersecurity.

Michigan Technological University is once again ready to take up the challenge of reskilling the automotive workforce. We were there in the early days (or some might say, “back in the day”). In the early 1970s, ME-EM started developing its world-class expertise in combustion engines. Then, in the mid-1990s, ME-EM faculty also hosted short courses on noise and vibration, both on MTU’s campus and then on-site at Ford. It was about the same time that ME-EM offered some of our university’s earliest distance courses to General Motors (GM).

Since then, Tech has collaborated with the mobility industry, training both its current and future workforce to meet its ever-evolving needs. One example, developed by Michigan Tech, GM, the Michigan Academy of Green Mobility, and AVL, is our 15-credit certificate in hybrid electric drive engineering.

Tech also offers a very specific certificate in automotive systems and controls. This certificate prepares graduates with skills in controls, systems engineering, and systems integration. And these are just a few of the innovative online programs offered through the Michigan Tech Global Campus.

The rapidly expanding College of Computing at Michigan Tech (70% growth since 2014!) is also stepping up to the plate. Its versatile programs in computer science, software engineering, cybersecurity, data science, mechatronics, computer network, and system administration are all relevant to the mobility industry. Computing, as we all know, is everywhere.

And then there is Michigan Tech’s impressive Advanced Power Systems (APS) LABS, which offers customizable on-site and online automotive courses, in 35 system and subsystem areas. For several years, APS has supplied the automotive industry with research, resources, outreach services, training, and talent. It exemplifies innovation on wheels. (Stay tuned for a deeper look into APS!)

Wherever the mobility revolution takes us, rest assured that Michigan Tech, Global Campus, and APS LABS will be along for the ride.

Online TechMBA: Technology Meets Business

Two business execs working on a problem at a Tech company.
Engineering and technology companies seek graduates with technological and business administration expertise. Get this expertise with our Online TechMBA.

New Program: Online TechMBA

Michigan Tech’s newest online graduate program, the Online Master of Business Administration is here. The Online TechMBA provides an innovative learning experience fusing technological expertise and business administration. Students in this program can leverage their previous engineering experience, regardless of their field, and/or their former engineering management expertise. And they gain the cross-disciplinary advantage of studying at a school known for both its technology and business programs.

Accredited by the Association to Advance Schools of Business (AAASB), the Online TechMBA program equips students with practical knowledge, fundamental business acumen, and a diverse tool kit. Students will leave the program armed with critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, project management, and leadership skills. Graduates are more than prepared to tackle marketing, management, technical sales, leadership, strategy, and entrepreneurship positions. And this is just the short list of potential opportunities.

Incomes differ, but an investopedia article notes that those MBAs who specialize in consulting, finances, and technology management earn the most. And according to one Fortune article, the median salaries for those with MBA degrees are substantially higher than those without them.

Also, MBA holders are both respected and demanded by organizations. The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) found that 89% of employers planned to hire MBA graduates in 2021.

So what is preventing you from checking out Michigan Tech’s Online TechMBA program?