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ECE Will Offer M.S. Degree to International Students as First Offering in New Global Partnership

Shorelight Education Logo

An Integrated Field Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) will be the first offering in a new global partnership between UMass Amherst and Shorelight Education of Boston that will enable international students to earn a master’s degree at one of the top public research universities in the United States. The joint initiative, called UMass Amherst Global, will launch in the summer of 2017. Read UMass News Office release.

The initial 18-month UMass Amherst Global program in ECE will begin in the summer of 2017 at UMass Amherst and continue with live lectures hosted locally in China by the first validated delivery partner, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, one of the most distinguished universities in China. The 30-credit program will provide high-level training and hands-on experience on cutting-edge problems, culminating in capstone projects based on students’ own research. Students will benefit from support in English and their native Mandarin through the involvement of UMass Amherst’s renowned Translation Center in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

College of Engineering Dean Tim Anderson commented that “A key outcome of the Shorelight approach for M.S. education is that it will reduce the cost of the M.S. degree while including an immersion experience on our campus, thus reaching a new market segment based on cost. It will also increase the opportunities for placement of the graduates.”

“As the world gets smaller, the opportunities for international students should get bigger,” the Shorelight website explained about its mission. “That’s why Tom Dretler and Basil Cleveland founded Shorelight Education in 2013.We partner with top U.S. universities to deliver an innovative first-year program that helps international students adjust academically and culturally. With this inclusive, enriching, and empowering support, students from around the world can thrive and become successful, globally-minded graduates.”

Students taking the UMass Amherst Global program in ECE will begin their studies with an intensive on-campus summer experience in Amherst and return to their home country to complete their coursework. While there, students will receive live video lectures, taught by UMass Amherst faculty, and support services to ensure their success throughout the program.

“It’s exciting times in ECE,” said ECE Department Head Christopher Hollot, “where the future now demands that computing machines will be fundamentally different from that of today and where computer engineers will need intellectual breadth and depth to deal with the dizzying confluence of sensing, computing, and action that defines the Internet of Things (IoT). ECE is pleased to partner with Shorelight to help prepare the world’s young engineers to participate in this dynamic technological environment.”

“Shorelight Education,” according to the organization’s Facebook page, “is reinventing the international education experience for both students and universities. In partnership with leading U.S. institutions, we build innovative degree programs—whether on campus or cloud-based in the U.S. or students’ home countries—that help students thrive and create a new generation of successful, globally-minded alumni.”

The site added that the Shorelight way is an innovative approach to driving institutional growth, creating new revenue streams, and expanding options for students seeking the next-generation higher education experience. “We work with top-tier universities to create programs that are strategic, sustainable, and that realize an institution’s short- and long-term goals.”

As Shorelight Education CEO Dretler said, “Our corporate purpose at Shorelight is to educate the world, and we are proud to take the next big step in doing that together with our partners at UMass Amherst. The Commonwealth’s flagship campus has a proud record of welcoming international students from around the world, and together we can make their top graduate degree programs highly accessible to even more of the world’s top students.” (November 2016)