Northeastern’s graduate campus in Charlotte, N.C., is launching nine new degree programs in areas such as energy systems and information assurance, which will more than double the university’s academic offerings in fields that are vital to the growth of the greater Charlotte region.
“These programs meet a critical workplace need within industries Charlotte is attracting to build its future,” said Cheryl Richards, the CEO and regional dean of the Charlotte campus, which opened in 2011.
The new degrees—in energy systems, engineering management, computer science, information assurance, nursing, physical therapy, regulatory affairs, criminal justice, and public administration—are all existing programs taught at Northeastern’s main campus in Boston. Degree programs at Northeastern’s graduate campuses are based on a “hybrid delivery” model, which involves the integration of online and classroom learning where faculty members teach courses both at the regional campuses and online. The hybrid learning approach is ideal for working professionals, Richards said, because it combines the traditional benefits of face-to-face instruction with the flexibility of online learning.
“Energy systems, for example, is a welcome program to the Charlotte community as the city works to position itself as the nation’s new energy capital” Richards said.
Charlotte’s degree programs were determined in collaboration with research from local organizations including the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Partnership, which identified key areas for growth such as energy, healthcare, and finance. Administrators in Charlotte and Boston then worked with Northeastern’s colleges to identify programs that met those needs and determined how best to bring them to the graduate campus.
“You take that information from the Chamber and the Charlotte Regional Partnership and you marry that to programs where Northeastern has significant expertise and you meet an industry need in a new region,” Richards said. “Take, for example, our programs in colleges like the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, and the College of Engineering, combined with our initiatives in health, sustainability, and security, and you start to see a map of where we can expand in new regions in the future.”
Northeastern’s graduate campus in Charlotte will begin offering the new programs in the fall.