by Melanie Dostis
For the longest time, I had no idea when I would be graduating.
I had no clue what year I was in and at times I wasn’t sure if classes were even part of my plan.
What I do know is that in the gloomy job market college graduates face, I have a chance to avoid the typical employment woes of many grads.
I am part of the co-operative (or “co-op”) education world, an increasingly sought-out solution in higher education to transition students to the workplace. In it, students alternate between the classroom and the workplace.
On Wednesday, September 25th the Seattle Campus hosted a presentation as part of our Local Leaders, Global Impact speaker series. The topic of the event was “Matching Industry Growth with Sustainable Development: The New Tech Challenge”. Some back round on the topic:
“The Puget Sound tech sector is exploding. Since the ‘90s, our information technology sector created two-thirds of Washington’s job growth, which now represents 27 percent of all jobs in the state, mostly in the Puget Sound area. At the same time, cities are striving to achieve aggressive sustainability goals. With this growth driving our real estate market, are our developments and land use policies meeting the demands of this vital sector in ways that help us achieve our climate goals?”
The presentation featured four panelists representing academia, the public and private sector. The moderator for the event was Dr. Joan Fitzgerald. Dr. Fitzgerald is professor and interim dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Her third book, Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development (Oxford Univ. Press, 2010), examines how cities are creating economic development opportunities in several green sectors and discusses the state and national policy needed to support these efforts.
The first presenter was Kathleen Owens, President and General Manager of the Attachmate Business Unit of Attachmate. She discussed her companies recent decision to relocate to a downtown office building. Attachmate is part of a new trend where companies are moving their headquarters to downtown office spaces as opposed to sprawling suburban developments. One of the most unique aspects about the adaptation was managing employee concerns and perspectives.
The next presenter was Greg Johnson, President of Wright Runstad & Company. Johnson talked about The Spring District, an “ecodistrict” in Bellevue consisting of a mix of commercial and residential properties. From The Spring District website, “We’re creating a neighborhood that draws people in, just to be, sharing space with all the other people who are drawn to it too.” The development will be constructed in three phases with an estimated completion date in 2026. Learn more about The Spring District and watch a great video here.
The final presenter was Hilary Franz, CEO of Futurewise. From their website “Futurewise works with communities across Washington State to save farms and forests, protect rivers and coasts, and build strong cities and towns for all.” Franz talked about sustainable policy and civic engagement. Prior to joining Futurewise, Franz represented local governments, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups on a broad range of land use planning and policy issues.
After the presentation members of the audience asked questions and got into some interesting discussions about sustainable urban development with the panelists.
To see more pictures from the event, go here.
This week we welcomed an additional staff member to the Seattle Campus, Jennifer Youngblood.
Jennifer is the faculty Graduate Cooperative Education Coordinator for the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University – Seattle. Her background includes over 15 year of career counseling in higher education and private practice, as well as corporate HR. Jennifer has a BA and MA in History, a master’s certificate in Computer Programming, and MA coursework in Career Development. She is also MBTI Qualified and is a certified Distance Career Counselor.
We have some very interesting and unique events occurring on the Seattle Campus this week. The first is tomorrow presentation: Matching Industry Growth with Sustainable Development: The New Tech Challenge. This is the continuation of our speakers series: Local Leaders: Global Impact.
The Puget Sound tech sector is exploding. Since the ‘90s, our information technology sector created two-thirds of Washington’s job growth, which now represents 27 percent of all jobs in the state, mostly in the Puget Sound area. At the same time, cities are striving to achieve aggressive sustainability goals. With this growth driving our real estate market, are our developments and land use policies meeting the demands of this vital sector in ways that help us achieve our climate goals?The Puget Sound tech sector is exploding. Since the ‘90s, our information technology sector created two-thirds of Washington’s job growth, which now represents 27 percent of all jobs in the state, mostly in the Puget Sound area. At the same time, cities are striving to achieve aggressive sustainability goals. With this growth driving our real estate market, are our developments and land use policies meeting the demands of this vital sector in ways that help us achieve our climate goals?
Here is a special sneak peek at the presentation by Greg Johnson, President of Wright Runstad & Company, about Bellevue’s Spring District which will be used as a real-world case study.
The Seattle Campus will also be hosting an event on Thursday for the Young Professionals Network (YPN), titled I’M A YP. NOW WHAT?. The YPN is a group coordinated by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. They organize events for professional under 40 to meet and network. This week’s event’s theme is Next Career Steps and Personal Development.
Find out more about the event and register here.
The indoor quad at the Curry Student Center had an international feel on Thursday night as students who have recently returned from overseas co-ops convened to share their experiences.
Northeastern’s inaugural International Co-op Fair gave about 30 co-op students the chance to tell their stories to peers considering experiential learning in a foreign country.
As part of its mission to prepare students for future success, Northeastern combines classroom learning with real-world experience in some 93 countries worldwide. About 300 students are currently on international co-op, a figure that international co-op director Ketty Rosenfeld expects to grow.
It’s important to stay on top of your professional game to navigate the Seattle business world. Join us for a discussion at the new Northeastern-Seattle campus where our panelists will offer up advice for your next career steps.
At this event we will:
Thursday, Sep 26, 2013
5:30-7:30 PM Pacific Time
Northeastern University – Seattle Campus
401 Terry Ave. North
Seattle, WA 98109
(In South Lake Union)
Suggested parking is at the 321 Terry Ave N and 320 Westlake garages, which can be accessed from between Harrison St and Thomas St.
To learn more about our event and to register, click here!
There are no membership fees or any application process to attend The Young Professionals Network events. If you are not a Chamber member, register online under the nonmember registration button. Learn more about Chamber membership.
Northeastern University – Seattle is very excitied to be partnering with the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) to host a series of panel discussions and presentations, called TechNW. The WTIA is the largest statewide association of technology companies and executives in the nation. This year, TechNW will be a 3-part event series featuring two panels focused on different sectors and a reception at each event. Each event has two theme; click below for more information on each:
We hope to see you are one of these events. For more information about TechNW and the WTIA click here.
On Tuesday, September 10 Northeastern welcomed employers to campus for a presentation and discussion on Employer Branding. Representatives from a variety of organizations attended the event such as CH2M Hill, Seattle City Light, and Fluke. Employer branding is the process of establishing an organization as a great place to work. The goal of employer branding is to attract, engage and retain talented candidates and employees. Employee turnover is becoming increasingly expensive and retention can reduce costs. The importance of Employer Branding started in the 90′s, but had become more relevant about 15 years ago, and now it is a key component of any organizations Human Resources and employee communications functions.
There were two presentations, one given by Kortney Kutsop, the Senior Account Director of Universum. Kortney gave some compelling statistics about what current students and what potential employees are looking for in an employer from the 2013 America’s Ideal Employers Survey. Employees are looking for stability within their position. This data marked a large change from previous years where characteristics such as challenging, unique and enjoyable ranked higher.
David Lee, Global Employer Brand Leader at Amazon and former consultant talked about the use of games to recruit employees; games get people excited and encourages involvement. Lee used games as part of the Go Army campaign by the U.S. Army. The campaign heavily utilized social media and advertising to encourage people to join the Army. Lee even played a few games with the audience and it was clear that is was effective at engaging participants. Lee also spoke about the benefits of differentiation between employer branding and consumer branding.
One participant J. Paul Blake, Senior Management Consultant at CH2M Hill, found the presentation very informative and interesting, he “enjoyed the various ways that employees and potential employees learn about companies via their website, social media, and through the rest of their online presence”
Want to learn more about Employer Branding? Click here
The Seattle Campus is running hybrid classes this fall for our MS Computer Science and MS Computer Science ALIGN students. Last week we welcomed new and returning students to a series of social events and orientation presentations. Over 40 students attended all the events in total.
The orientation activities included:
There were also social events that the campus hosted including:
Kevin Bell is the Executive Director for Online Curriculum Development and Deployment at the College of Professional Studies (CPS). Bell leads Northeastern University’s efforts toward the goal of high-quality, professional online programs based on industry and academic standards.
Bell’s heads the team at Northeastern within CPS that aims to make online programs challenging and engaging while increasing the means by which students retain and internalize information and competencies. Bell’s team works with Northeastern faculty and deans to adapt programs to an online format.
Northeastern has been a pioneer in web-based delivery of programs since 1998. Northeastern offers 51 online degree programs across a wide range of disciplines and in 48 states. There are currently 10,000 online and hybrid students across 8 colleges.
The U.S. Department of Education in 2010 completed a study titled “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online” that combined more than a thousand previous studies into one report. One key finding was the fact that students who took all or part of their course online performed better on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction. As Bell outlined though, thoughtful course design and student focus and effort are still much-needed components.
The Northeastern online model takes into account elements of cognitive science – a field attempting to understand how the human brain assimilates and stores information. Bell’s team’s goal is to develop a model that dramatically increases the efficiency and effectiveness of students’ learning, memory, and application of concepts.
Northeastern is piloting and pioneering innovative work in adaptive learning. Using new technologies and industry partners, the team at Northeastern are leveraging current computing power to adapt the presentation of educational material according to individual student learning needs, as indicated by early responses to questions and tasks. In an adaptive system, learners study carefully sized “chunks” of information before checking their understanding through interactive tests. The pace of a student’s progress through materials can be moderated based on their performance with these low-stress, evaluative but not evaluated tests. Students needing further practice can be directed to specific topics to review – confirming that the solid foundations of knowledge are in place before they progress to the next challenge.
Bell’s team is also using data analytics to improve courses and delivery techniques. Student, and faculty, behavioral data is reviewed and shared in order to propagate and encourage behaviors that are typical of successful participants. Data about the class in general is also sent back to curriculum designers for evaluation and discussion with faculty to in a “continuing improvement” model for materials and course content. Through these means, online education is moving from “One size fits all” to “Individualized Instruction”, with learning captured and confirmed rather than simply assumed based on a form of attendance and persistence beyond course end dates.
Bell’s team is also focused on developing new forms of Online Experiential Learning (OEL), based on the cornerstone of the Northeastern educational model. Most deliverables are real world based, including on occasion efforts to include unique circumstances and environment changes, as might happen in the real world. As Bell explained, often the essential ability gleaned from “experiential” is the experience developed to abstract and reapply knowledge and strategies to many, diverse situations as opposed to rote learning with one fixed set of rules.
Finally the group discussed criteria that promote student success in online learning. The main elements discussed by the group were:
The G.A.M.E.S. Program (Girls Advancing Mathematics, Engineering and Science) is an ambitious, broad-based effort to use the power of gaming to engage girls in middle school, in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as technology-related arts (we call it “STEM”). The specific initiative: to launch, by fall 2017, three commercial-quality video games that achieve the goal.
This is not the first effort of its kind, and it is true that so-called edutainment games have a spotty record, at best, in terms of reaching their ambitious goals. But this one promises to be different, given what we have learned and who is involved.
We are at a tipping point for getting girls engaged in gaming, and there is greater momentum than ever before for connecting girls and women to STEM – related careers. Fact: The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles introduced a Game Design merit badge this year, and it goes beyond a similar merit badge introduced by the Boy Scouts, requiring girls to program as well as design their games.
Unlike a number of past efforts sponsored and funded by public entities, we are proposing a realistic game development timeline and philanthropic funding sources to help ensure that the winning games are not just professional, but also scalable.
And G.A.M.E.S. already includes an impressive array of sponsors and participants. In addition to Northeastern University Seattle, the sponsors include the Institute for Systems Biology and the National Girls Collaborative Project, a consortium of “girl-serving” STEM organizations in over 40 states with over 7 million girls members across the United States.
More than two-dozen leaders from the worlds of game design, education, interactive media, science, and public service have committed to be actively involved in the G.A.M.E.S. Program.
The stakes are well known by now. America’s advancement in STEM education and STEM fields is the key to a robust innovation-based economy. But by the time they enter high school, most young women in America have lost interest in STEM fields, draining away the talent pool that the country needs, and depriving girls of rich opportunities to be tomorrow’s leaders in technology, engineering, and other STEM-related fields
Because girls were not engaged in science and mathematics at the right time in their lives, there may be diseases uncured and energy challenges unmet.
Follow along and contribute online with #Games4STEM .
Help us reverse the trend.
Find out more at northeastern.edu/seattle/games