North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, the world leader in expe­ri­en­tial learning, will open a series of edu­ca­tional hubs embedded directly in select com­pa­nies across the Bay Area, begin­ning in Sil­icon Valley. The research uni­ver­sity is bringing its century-​​old expe­ri­en­tial learning model and global industry net­work to a northern Cal­i­fornia market that demands more pro­fes­sionals edu­cated in sci­ence, tech­nology, engi­neering, and math—particularly women and minorities.

North­eastern University–Silicon Valley is the latest addi­tion to the university’s global net­work, which includes the flag­ship campus in Boston; regional cam­puses in Char­lotte, North Car­olina, and Seattle; and more than 3,000 industry part­ners world­wide. The university’s pres­ence in Sil­icon Valley is unique due to its co-​​location with an entre­pre­neurial and widely respected industry partner, Inte­grated Device Tech­nology (NASDAQ:IDTI).

This hub will fea­ture a technology-​​focused port­folio deliv­ered through online and hybrid for­mats, enabling stu­dents to com­bine the con­ve­nience and power of online learning with the ben­e­fits of face-​​to-​​face instruc­tion. North­eastern will col­lab­o­rate with partner com­pa­nies, such as IDT, on tai­loring cur­riculum and cre­ating real-​​world expe­ri­en­tial oppor­tu­ni­ties as part of each degree and cer­tifi­cate program.

North­eastern University–Silicon Valley will also create a research ecosystem lever­aging the university’s fac­ulty and research cen­ters to ben­efit the entire region.

North­eastern has never been bound by loca­tion,” said Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun. “Our co-​​op pro­gram takes stu­dents around the world, and our regional campus net­work pro­vides expe­ri­en­tial learning for pro­fes­sionals in a knowledge-​​based economy. Northeastern’s Sil­icon Valley hub builds on our approach of seeing busi­nesses as part­ners and new regions as oppor­tu­ni­ties to empower human potential.”

2013 State of the University

Northeastern’s novel approach dif­fers from estab­lished uni­ver­si­ties in the region and others that have opened free-​​standing cam­puses there due to its co-​​location with an industry partner and its focus on expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion. Expe­ri­en­tial learning, pow­ered by the university’s sig­na­ture coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, lies at the heart of aca­d­emic life at North­eastern. The university’s Sil­icon Valley cur­riculum adds an extra expe­ri­en­tial dimen­sion through coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion place­ments, cor­po­rate res­i­den­cies, and spe­cial projects.

Based in San Jose, IDT is pro­viding North­eastern 8,000-square-feet of space—with room to triple in size—that will offer IDT employees and other pro­fes­sionals throughout the region edu­ca­tional pro­grams designed to advance their careers.

IDT’s part­ner­ship with North­eastern will bring bud­ding engi­neering and research talent into our cor­po­rate offices, but the ben­e­fits will extend far beyond our campus,” said Greg Waters, IDT’s pres­i­dent and CEO. “Northeastern’s pro­grams and approach to applied research will serve as an incu­bator for top-​​tier talent, grooming stu­dents for careers in tech­nology in Sil­icon Valley and beyond. It’s a bridge between acad­emia and the tech industry that should be wel­comed by tech-​​focused stu­dents and com­pa­nies alike.”

Thirty-​​three per­cent of job open­ings in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area prefer or require an advanced degree, while only 18 per­cent of the work­force holds such a degree, according to the Burning Glass Labor/​Insight data­base. In the com­puter sci­ence field, the gap is par­tic­u­larly acute: there have been more than 12,000 graduate-​​level job open­ings over the past year, but insti­tu­tions in the region pro­duce fewer than 500 master’s degree grad­u­ates annually.

North­eastern University–Silicon Valley’s ini­tial offer­ings will include a master’s degree in engi­neering man­age­ment, and two cer­tifi­cate pro­grams in data sci­ence and tech­nology project management. The port­folio of edu­ca­tional offer­ings will con­tinue to be shaped with input from industry partners.

Many uni­ver­si­ties are building online infra­struc­ture and capa­bil­i­ties,” said Philomena Man­tella, senior vice pres­i­dent and CEO of the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Global Net­work. “The North­eastern advan­tage is an online expe­ri­en­tial model that lever­ages the learning power of work­place expe­ri­ences for our students.”

We are cre­ating some­thing unique in higher edu­ca­tion,” added Aoun. “Uni­ver­si­ties are the engines of eco­nomic growth and pros­perity. We must con­tinue to adapt to meet new demands and be co-​​creators of the new economy.”