CU-Boulder Launches New Center For Advanced Engineering And Technology Education

June 26, 2003

The University of Colorado at Boulder is establishing a new Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education that will build on the combined strengths of the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the Division of Continuing Education to deliver high-quality graduate education to students on and off the campus starting July 1.

The formation of the center ensures continuation of the current master's degree programs in interdisciplinary telecommunications and engineering management offered by the college, improves accessibility for part-time and non-degree students, and sets the stage for the development of new certificate programs and short courses of interest to professional engineers.

The center is the result of an intracampus partnership in which Continuing Education will take on administrative and fiscal responsibility for the programs, while the College of Engineering and Applied Science maintains academic oversight of the degrees and courses offered.

The new center also includes the distance-learning arm of the engineering college, known as CATECS, which is operated by Continuing Education.

The creation of the new center follows today's action by the Board of Regents to close the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Department and Engineering Management Program as units funded by the general campus.

"Faced with substantial reductions in the state budget allocation to CU, we saw an opportunity to secure the quality of these academic programs within a new center that builds on the educational synergies among the programs," said engineering Dean Robert Davis. "By combining them in a single operation and drawing on the experience and resources of Continuing Education to administer the programs and make them even more responsive to industry needs, we are in a better position to strengthen these programs beyond what they are today."

The graduate programs in interdisciplinary telecommunications and engineering management attract a large number of working engineers who are looking for an interdisciplinary program combining a strong technical curriculum with education in related fields such as business, economics and law. More than half of the students enrolled in the two programs take their courses through distance learning.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science will continue to provide classrooms, laboratories and faculty office space in the Engineering Center for all three components of the center. The majority of faculty associated with the interdisciplinary telecommunications and engineering management programs will continue to teach and conduct research in the college.

"We in Continuing Education look forward to collaborating with the College of Engineering and Applied Science in this important new venture," said continuing education Dean Anne Heinz. "We share the college's commitment to quality advanced engineering education and hope to enhance the programs through this partnership. I appreciate the efforts by the faculty and staff who have been working hard to ensure a seamless transition for the programs' students."

Mario Vidalon, who has served as CATECS director since March, will be director of the new center. He has a doctorate in electrical engineering and 10 years experience as director of engineering/information technologies programs, business development and corporate training at the University of California Irvine Extension.

Professors Tom Lookabaugh and William Daughton will serve as faculty directors of the interdisciplinary telecommunications and engineering management degree programs, respectively.

Admissions and registration procedures will remain the same for all programs in the new center. Degree students should continue to contact their respective degree program for application information. For information about distance learning or other questions about the new center, call (303) 492-6331.

FACT SHEET

Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education

University of Colorado at Boulder

… The Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education (CAETE) is a partnership between the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the Division of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

… The new center will serve students taking classes on the Boulder campus as well as through distance education.

… The center will continue to offer the current master's degree programs in interdisciplinary telecommunications and engineering management. The degrees will be awarded by the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

… The center will develop new certificate programs and short courses to meet a variety of industry and individual needs.

… The center will be funded by revenue generated from course offerings. Annual savings in general funds from the restructuring is expected to be about $1 million.

… The center will incorporate the CATECS program, which offers master's degrees and certificates in interdisciplinary telecommunications, engineering management and other fields of engineering and applied science via distance-learning technology. CATECS is the distance-learning program for the College of Engineering and Applied Science operated by the Division of Continuing Education.

… About 400 degree students are currently enrolled in CU-Boulder's interdisciplinary telecommunications and engineering management programs, and more than half of these students are taking courses through distance learning.

… The interdisciplinary telecommunications, engineering management and distance-learning programs will continue to have offices, classroom and laboratory space in the Engineering Center at CU-Boulder.

… The College of Engineering and Applied Science will provide academic oversight to the programs offered by the new center, while the Division of Continuing Education will provide administration, educational technologies and fiscal management.

… CATECS Director Mario Vidalon will be the director of the new center. He will jointly report to the dean of continuing education and the dean of engineering and applied science.

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