Northeastern University, which happens to be my Alma Mater, just announced that they will be opening a series of new educational hubs in Silicon Valley. The hubs will not be your average satellite campuses, however. Rather, these hubs represent a new approach to higher education:
Northeastern University–Silicon Valley is based on a distinctive new model for higher education: educational hubs embedded directly in select companies across the Bay Area that offer sector-specific degree programs and research collaborations to benefit the entire region.1
So rather than taking classes at a traditional university – as we think of it, with class rooms, lecture halls, libraries, etc. – students will be taking classes at the locations of Northeastern’s partner companies. To begin, Northeastern has partnered with San Jose-based semiconductor manufacturer Integrated Device Technology (IDT). The partnership is quite unique. IDT will be providing the university with 8,000 square feet of space, along with a promise of up to triple that size.
The Silicon Valley Hub will offer STEM based online/hybrid degree and certificate programs. The program will begin by offering a master’s degree in engineering management, and certificate programs in data science and technology project management. Though the university says that the offerings will drastically expand as they bring in new business partners. Also, Northeastern will collaborate with these partners and shape new programs around the needs of these companies.
Greg Waters, the President and CEO of IDT, made a comment on the new program, arguing that the benefits of Northeastern’s Silicon Valley Hub go way beyond the classroom:
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. 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.2