Tag: Statistics

All Those Hoods

Spring Commencement
Family and friends at this Spring Commencement ceremony noticed something interesting: many PhD and MS candidates were receiving their degrees and hoods.

It’s not by chance.

The Graduate School has been showing steady growth and has exceeded targets for enrollment, according to Dean Jackie Huntoon.

“Across campus, faculty and departments are on board with the Strategic Plan, and we are moving forward with increased graduate education and research,” she says.

The differences between Michigan Tech’s graduate education and other universities are myriad and include completion rate: 62 percent of Tech PhD students finish what they start here, compared to 50 percent nationally. Seventy-five percent of Tech’s master’s students also complete their degrees.

“We’ve always been known for hands-on, application-oriented undergraduate education, and the same is true at the grad level: our students are highly employable,” Huntoon says.

She also discusses how graduate students contribute to economic development and economic recovery.

“We don’t just put PhDs in academia,” she says. “We also place them in industry and government positions.” Some 53 percent of PhD graduates end up in industry, versus 41 percent at Tech’s peer high-research institutions.

R&D is also heavily impacted by Tech PhD graduates, says Jacque Smith, director of marketing for the Graduate School. “Our percentage of PhDs employed in research and development is more than double the national average,” he says.

Increases in graduate enrollment have other benefits.

The large number of international students brings diversity to the campus and area, enriching the lives of those who live and work here.

“We compete on a global scale,” Huntoon says. “And these people give us a global environment on campus.”

“So, when you get that first job in Shanghai,” Smith adds, “you’re prepared with cultural knowledge and tolerance. You know more about the world before you get out and work in it.”

Huntoon tells the tale of a recent reception with students from Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.

“It was fascinating to hear their perspectives and think we were having this discussion here in Upper Michigan.”

As for the future, a new master’s program in geospatial engineering is planned for the School of Technology, their first graduate degreee. And a new University Senate policy mixes bachelor’s and master’s course work to shorten the length of time it takes to complete both.

And Huntoon perceives more new areas being explored and boundaries being crossed.

“PhD programs will become increasingly fluid in the future,” she says. “We will still have departments and Schools, but we’ll also have many more cross-disciplinary collaborations that unite faculty from many traditional units in response to needs for cutting-edge research.”

“What we will preserve is our focus on being ready to do things that serve societal needs,” Huntoon adds. “Not hypothetical or made up, but real.”

Like technology transfer and job creation, Smith adds.

In other words, keeping it all relevant, just like Tech has always done.

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor
Published in Tech Today

MBA Online Program in the News

Michigan Tech’s MBA Online, offered by the School of Business and Economics, is mentioned in the Bloomberg Business Week Business School Rankings and Profiles.

The Tech MBA Online is one of 50 listed in the distance learning section, and the site says, “Advances in educational technology have made distance learning programs a viable alternative to attending bricks-and-mortar campuses.”

“We are pleased to see the online program getting this well-deserved attention,” says Darrell Radson, dean, School of Business and Economics.

School officials said the two-year Tech MBA Online focuses on technology and innovation management. The degree incorporates a solid foundation of fundamental business disciplines, including a global perspective. Training professionals to be ethical leaders who manage financially sound but sustainable organizations is also a program goal. The degree program includes two weekend residencies and a weeklong international residency.

“The uniqueness of our program centers on its connection to technology,” according to Radson. “We are using the expertise of our university and our business school to train students to take new ideas and concepts and move them into new products and new businesses.”

For more information about the Tech MBA Online, call Ruth Archer, graduate program director, at 487-3055, or visit www.mbaonline.mtu.edu .

Published in Tech Today.

Graduate Programs Assessed

The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies has released a comparison of more than 5,000 doctoral programs at 212 universities across the nation, including Michigan Tech.

The assessment–seven years in the making–rated 12 PhD programs at Michigan Tech, giving highest marks to two in SFRES: forest molecular genetics and biotechnology, and forest science.

Other noteworthy Tech programs included chemical engineering, chemistry, environmental engineering, mathematical sciences, materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics.

“The NRC used a complex and very sophisticated statistical analysis procedure to attempt to objectively compare similar PhD programs,” said David Reed, vice president for research. “I’m very pleased that our programs in forestry–and in some of the engineering and science specialties–came out so well. It speaks very highly of the faculty and students involved.”

Although the results of the NRC study were described as “rankings,” graduate programs at different universities weren’t actually ranked or compared directly one to another. Rather, using a complicated statistical analysis of 21 variables and two sets of data, the programs were assigned “ranges.”

Both data sets were based on results of faculty surveys. In one survey, faculty members were asked what factors were most important to the overall quality of a graduate program. In the other, they were asked to rate the quality of a sample of programs in their field.

The results, which took several years to analyze, show the number of programs evaluated in each field and the range in which Tech’s programs fall. In forest science, for example, 34 programs were compared, and Michigan Tech’s were ranked between 2nd of 34 and 23rd of 34.

“The results are not rankings,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School. “The report tells us that there is a 90 percent chance that the ‘true’ ranking of each of our programs falls somewhere within the reported range.”

“The results do have some interesting implications,” Huntoon went on to say. “We found out what is most important to a good reputation–the number of PhDs graduated, the number of publications of the faculty, and the research awards received by faculty. The results clearly show that the reputation of a graduate program depends on its size.”

“That validates the direction in which Michigan Tech has been moving–making a conscious effort to grow its Graduate School programs,” Huntoon added.

She expressed concern that the NRC data is out of date. It was collected in 2006-07 and included data from 2001-02 to 2005-06.

“We aren’t the same university or the same graduate school we were then,” Huntoon noted. “In 2005, we only had 870 graduate students. Now we have 1,241. We have made a major commitment to growing our graduate school.” The new data will be useful as a benchmark to measure future progress at Michigan Tech, she said.

The last NRC graduate program assessment was conducted in 1995. It evaluated only three PhD programs at Michigan Tech: geosciences, mechanical engineering and physics.

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

Published in Tech Today

Michigan Tech Enrollment Exceeds Expectations

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

The University enrollment has topped projected numbers for the fall semester. Data reported to the state last night show that the public research university’s enrollment totaled 6,957, including 5,716 undergraduates and 1,241 graduate students.

Last fall, Michigan Tech’s total enrollment was 7,132, including 1,189 graduate students.

“We planned for total enrollment this fall of 6,900 and we exceeded that goal,” said Michigan Tech President Glenn D. Mroz. “We’re particularly pleased that emphasis on graduate enrollment continues to raise graduate student numbers to their highest level ever at Michigan Tech.”

Since 2007, Michigan Tech has intentionally been working to increase its proportion of graduate students, from 13 percent to 18 percent of the student body.

“The main factors affecting our expected undergraduate enrollment this year included an unusually large graduating class last year and the discontinuation of the Michigan Promise Grant,” Mroz said.

Les Cook, vice president for student affairs, agreed. “We know students and their families are struggling with increased costs, and in particular, the loss of the Michigan Promise Grant,” he said. “We saw the effect on our students last year, and we made up the difference in financial aid, essentially keeping the promise. We’re working with students one-on-one this year to make up the Promise Grant where needed, but we are simply not able to do that for everyone. That, I’m sure, has affected some students’ decisions about their university enrollment.”

Another factor in undergraduate enrollment may be an increase in tuition, based on an expected drop in state support, but “we have promised our Michigan resident students that if the state comes through with more money than we anticipated in our budget, we will provide a rebate on a portion of tuition,” Mroz said.

The diversity of the student body at Michigan Tech, including minorities and international students, increased to 20 percent. “Despite a sluggish economy, which tends to affect lower-income and minority students disproportionately, our numbers are up,” said Mroz. “I think that’s a testament to the intensive efforts we make to expose students from different backgrounds to Tech and to encourage them to seriously consider the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree programs that are in high demand in the job market.” He mentioned University initiatives such as summer youth programs that recruit urban high school students, particularly in the Detroit area, and increases in financial aid.

Female enrollment also rose, from 25 to 26 percent.

The enrollment report showed that Tech’s average ACT score has risen more than one entire point, from 25.1 to 26.1, since 2005. With ACT scores ranging from 1 to 36, moving up a whole point reflects a significant increase in numbers of high-scoring entering students. Michigan’s average ACT score statewide this year was 19.7, and the national average was 21.

“The average ACT score is significant because a higher score indicates that Michigan Tech is attracting more high-achieving students and a broader array of students,” said Vice President Cook. The ACT score is also an important factor in US News rankings of colleges and universities.

“The increase in our average ACT score shows that smart students are drawn to other smart students,” added John Lehman, assistant vice president for enrollment.

The English ACT score of first-year students entering Michigan Tech has shown the most significant change over the years, rising from 23.7 in 2005 to 25.1 this year. Lehman attributed the rise to increasing numbers of students in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and the College of Sciences and Arts. “People are recognizing us for our strong programs in addition to engineering,” he said.

Published in Tech Today.

Former Tech President Ray Smith to Address Graduate

Michigan Tech will honor the achievements of nearly 1,000 graduates at Spring Commencement, set for Saturday, May 1. The University expects to award 139 master’s and PhD degrees and 856 bachelor’s and associate degrees.

Ray Smith, who led Michigan Tech as its president from 1965 to 1979, will address the graduates and receive the University’s highest honor, the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction.

The full release is available at Michigan Tech’s news website.

Published in Tech Today

Four Michigan Tech Graduate Programs Rank in Top 50 Nationwide

Graduate school rankings released by US News and World Report today rank four of Michigan Tech graduate engineering programs in the top 50 nationwide. The annual rankings evaluated graduate programs in 192 schools of engineering.

Michigan Tech’s ranked engineering programs included:
• Environmental engineering–28th
• Mechanical engineering–48th
• Materials science and engineering–48th
• Civil engineering–49th

Tech’s College of Engineering overall ranked in the top 100, at 86th.

For the first time this year, US News and World Report also ranked biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, mathematics and physics. Earth sciences at Michigan Tech ranked in the top 100, at 81st. Physics ranked 122nd, and biological sciences, 207th.

“This year’s rankings really show that competition for the ‘top 50′ is increasing. We are neck-and-neck with some very strong programs” said Jackie Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School.

Each year, US News and World Report ranks graduate schools of engineering, business, the sciences, the humanities and social sciences, medicine and other health specialties, law and education. They base these rankings on two types of data: expert opinions by the programs’ peers and statistical indicators of program quality. The data come from surveys conducted in the fall of 2009 of more than 12,400 academics and professionals and more than 1,200 graduate programs.

Engineering specialties are ranked solely on the basis of assessments by department chairs in each specialty. The American Society for Engineering Education recommends the department chairs to be surveyed.

The rankings will be featured in the May 2010 issue of US News and World Report, scheduled to be on the newsstands on April 27. A guidebook called “America’s Best Graduate Schools” will be available for purchase on April 20.

Information is also available online at www.usnews.com/grad .

Record Enrollment for Spring 2010

The final preliminary spring 2010 enrollment numbers are out and the Graduate School is pleased to announce that  Michigan Tech has a record enrollment of graduate students.

Total graduate headcount is 1189 which is an increase of 212 or 21.7% over the spring 2009 numbers.

Total graduate student credit hours are 8162.5 which is an increase of 1411.0 or 20.9% over the Spring 2009 numbers.

Total 1st time master’s students are 71 which is an increase of 21 or 42.0% over the spring 2009 numbers.

Total 1st time doctoral students are 31 which is an increase of 6 or 24.0% over the spring 2009 numbers.

The Graduate School would like to thank everyone involved in achieving these numbers from our graduate students, faculty, directors and assistants, to the Registrar’s office for diligently working to recruit and enroll the newest students in our programs.  These numbers are very encouraging and are moving us closer to our goal of having 1250 graduate students at Michigan Tech.

For more information about future recruiting efforts and ways the Graduate School can assist programs with recruiting, please contact Jacque Smith, director of graduate marketing and advancement.

Read more in Tech Today.

Tech MBA Honored Again by the Aspen Institute

Published in Tech Today

The MBA program of the School of Business and Economics has been honored by the Aspen Institute’s 2009-10 edition of, “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” a biennial survey and alternative ranking of business schools.

The SBE is rated 58 on a list of the top 100 business schools and has “demonstrated significant leadership in integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its MBA program,” according to the Aspen Institute.

“Our faculty earned this recognition through their commitment to teaching and research in social, environmental and ethical stewardship as it relates to business,” said Darrell Radson, dean of the School. “Our MBA program focuses on conducting sustainable business in a technologically rich, constantly changing world and our faculty and students rise to that challenge.” The Michigan Tech MBA was previously honored by the Aspen Institute in 2007.

“The Tech MBA students are very concerned about a sustainable future,” said Ruth Archer, director of graduate programs. “They appreciate receiving a first-class MBA in managing technology and innovation at the same time that they learn how to integrate social value with corporate profitability. This recognition will enable us to attract more like-minded students.”

The Aspen Institute surveyed 149 business schools from 24 nations over 18 months in an effort to map the landscape of teaching and research on issues pertaining to business and society. Relevant data collected in the survey, as well as the entire “Global 100” list of business schools, is available at, www.BeyondGreyPinstripes.org . For more information on the Tech MBA, visit www.mtu.edu/business/mba/overview .

Enrollment Up Again

Published in Tech Today

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

Enrollment rose again this school year, topping last year’s number by 118 students. Fall enrollment figures tallied last night totaled 7,132.

A surge in Graduate School enrollment accounted for the increase, including increasing enrollment of international graduate students. The Graduate School reported 1,189 students, the most ever and a 21-percent increase over fall 2008. The number of international graduate students is up more than 17 percent.

“This is the highest headcount since 1983,” said President Glenn Mroz. “It shows that, increasingly, students see a Michigan Tech education as a high-return investment providing them with skills in great demand in our competitive world. Our strategic plan calls for increasing our graduate offerings while maintaining the size of undergraduate enrollment in high-demand science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. That is a critical way to provide the advanced training that will support the expansion of the entrepreneurial knowledge economy in Michigan.

“But to accomplish those goals,” Mroz continued, “something must be done about the issue of state funding. We are educating 40 percent more students than we did 40 years ago with the same level of state support.”

Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of the Graduate School, said she is extremely pleased to see such a large increase in graduate enrollment this year. “This shows that everyone at Michigan Tech is committed to increasing the size and quality of our graduate programs, in accordance with the University’s strategic plan,” she said. “It is because of our outstanding faculty, staff and current students that we are able to attract so many students from around the world.”

The record graduate student numbers include approximately 100 nondegree-seeking automotive engineers enrolled in a special advanced propulsion technology course offered in Detroit by Michigan Tech and the Engineering Society of Detroit.

Among undergraduates, the average ACT score of entering first-year students rose to 26.0 this year. The ACT score is one of Tech’s key indicators in achieving its strategic goal of attracting outstanding students, faculty and staff.

“We are attracting an academically more talented freshman class,” said John Lehman, assistant vice president for enrollment. “That indicates that our scholarship and financial aid programs are doing what they are supposed to do, enabling those who have need and are strong academically to attend Michigan Tech.”

The percentage of new female students at Tech also rose, from 23 percent last year to 26 percent this year. The University also saw a 9.8-percent increase in undergraduate transfer students, reflecting Michigan Tech’s enhanced efforts to reach out to community college students.

Undergraduate enrollment fell by 90 students this fall, to 5,943, although the number of transfer students rose by almost 10 percent. “The decrease is relatively minor and mostly related to the economy,” Lehman said. “Our undergraduate enrollment still stands well above totals from 2004 to 2007.”

International Graduate Student Applications Continue to Rise at Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech News

By Jennifer Donovan

August 26, 2009—

Unlike graduate schools nationwide, Michigan Technological University attracted more international graduate students this year than last. Numbers of applicants and accepted graduate students from India and South Korea—which dropped dramatically at graduate schools nationwide—also rose at Michigan Tech.

Last week, the Council of Graduate Schools issued a report showing that nationwide, admissions of international students to graduate schools dropped 3 percent, while admissions of students from India and South Korea dropped 16 percent   Applications for graduate school from international students rose only 4 percent nationwide, a lower rate of growth than in 2008.  Applications from India dropped 12 percent and from South Korea, 9 percent.

At Michigan Tech, applications from international graduate students rose 13 percent and admissions jumped 23 percent. Applications and admissions of graduate students from India and South Korea also rose at Tech.

“This is in part due to the fact that we offer STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics) plus business, which draw students,” said Graduate School Dean Jacqueline Huntoon.  “It is also because Michigan Tech’s Graduate School staff work hard to recruit students, and the departments are helping out by responding to applications quickly. It’s really a team effort.”

Graduate school applications from US citizens and permanent residents also increased 28 percent from 2008 to 2009 at Michigan Tech. Nationally they also increased, but only by 6 percent. Admissions of US citizens and permanent residents increased 4 percent nationwide this year and 32 percent at Michigan Tech.

“Growing our Graduate School, both in numbers and in quality, is one of the goals in our Strategic Plan,” said President Glenn D. Mroz. “It’s an important way to increase our stature as a technological research university. This is also part of an effort to bring some of the best minds in the world to Michigan. That is critical for Michigan to be a player in the creative economy.”

The Council of Graduate Schools’ report was based on survey data submitted by 253 graduate schools, including Michigan Tech.

Michigan Technological University is a leading public research university, conducting research, developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, forestry and environmental sciences, computing, technology, business and economics, natural and physical sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences.