FROM THE PRESIDENT
I had the pleasure last month of cutting the ribbon for the opening of Georgia State’s newest interactive space on campus. We call it CURVE (Collaborative University Research and Visualization Environment) and it’s a place where technology and classroom teaching intersect in amazing new ways. A dozen 55-inch displays wrap around the room, allowing professors and students to view maps and images in minute detail. An 84-inch touch screen uses Ultra High Definition technology, with a resolution four times what you’re used to seeing on your high-definition television at home.
The technology is cool, no doubt, but it’s how it is applied that is truly transformative. With it, professors are taking students on big-screen adventures to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to scout Mayan ruins. They’re mapping systems in the human body, showing molecules and cells in new and different ways. It’s yet another example of how Georgia State is taking teaching beyond the traditional classroom and yet another example of how professors are moving away from being the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side.”
In the university’s strategic plan, adopted in 2011, we promised increased learning opportunities for our students, inside and outside the classroom. We’ve made major progress toward this goal. The value and benefit of experiential learning, including co-ops, internships and study abroad opportunities cannot be overstated. I hear time and again from students and graduates that these kinds of experiences, coupled with the outstanding education they’re receiving in the classroom, have truly prepared them for the world outside of Georgia State.
Georgia State’s cooperative education program began in January 2014 with students from the College of Arts and Sciences and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business. The program provides students with practical experience at companies like UPS, AutoTrader and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. The first group of students finished in June after six months of on-the-job training. More students started co-ops this summer and will finish in December. Over the next year, we will be expanding the co-op program into new majors. We are starting small to ensure success and over the next few years we envision many majors included in the program.
In addition, more Georgia State students than ever are studying abroad, and we have strengthened partnerships at universities around the world. We are funding more study abroad scholarships so students from all backgrounds can access the transformative experience of traveling and learning in another country.
At a university where nearly 60 percent of incoming freshmen are Pell-eligible, it’s even more critical we remove the financial barriers that could stop them from exploring an international experience.
We’re committed to finding new ways to teach and connect our students to the world beyond our campus. Whether through technology, international travel or job training, we’re offering students the kinds of signature experiences that will ready them for the global workforce.
Mark P. Becker President