Adult Education: Preparing the Next Generation of Technology Leaders

By Joe Guzzardo

Thomas Edison State College’s graduate degree in applied science and technology addresses the increasing need to develop a specially trained workforce to manage and lead the professions of the 21st century and is the only program of its kind developed exclusively for working adults.

The Master of Science in Applied Science and Technology meets the advanced, multi-disciplinary educational requirements of adult learners interested in obtaining leadership positions in their chosen professions and works around the unique needs of student who cannot sacrifice their professions or personal commitments to advance their education.  

“The program provides advanced learning in the modern tools of business management, leadership, applied science and technology,” said Dr. Thomas G. Devine, acting dean of the School of Applied Science and Technology at Thomas Edison State College. “The degree focuses on developing the research analysis and critical evaluation skills necessary to support decision-making and problem-solving required to lead today’s technical enterprises.”

The 36-credit degree program is available completely online and works around the unique needs of adults. 

Devine noted that students also have the ability earn graduate credit toward the degree by demonstrating that they possess college-level knowledge acquired outside the classroom through the college’s prior learning assessment program. 

“This includes knowledge acquired through work experience or professional training,” he said. “Many of our students bring a lot to the table in terms of the technical expertise they have gained during their careers. Prior learning assessment gives them the opportunity to earn credit by demonstrating that expertise and knowledge.”

The core curriculum focuses on organizational research, technology and the community, productivity and improvement, the innovation and commercialization of technology and corporate social responsibility.

In addition, every student is required to complete a master project in applied science and technology. Devine said the master project provides students a guided, in-depth experience in defining, measuring, analyzing, improving and controlling a significant opportunity or challenge relevant to their workplace or profession.

“Students are expected to acquire knowledge, real-life experience and research to make recommendations as part of the master project that are based upon solid data and benchmarking,” he said.

In addition, all graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of knowledge, techniques, skills, tool and advanced technologies of the appropriate discipline
  • Initiate, design and conduct research
  • Integrate theoretical concepts and research findings into product and process innovation
  • Incorporate productivity measurement and project planning tools to plan, manage and evaluate constant improvement processes that support organizational goals
  • Demonstrate leadership in the workplace through the use of advanced technological and management tools
  • Evaluate the impact of ethical and cultural influences on organizational interactions and decisions

The Master of Science in Applied Science and Technology currently includes two areas of concentration for students to select: Clinical Trials Management or Technical Studies.

“Our clinical trials management track was designed by experts working in the clinical research field and focuses on the fundamentals of the clinical trials environment, study design and management,” said Devine.  “The technical studies track was created by experts working in a wide range of technical fields and focuses on the broader topic of technology development and implementation and its relation to productivity and performance improvement, with specific concentration on energy cost reduction and information management and security.”

Devine noted that additional areas of study for the Master of Science in Applied Science and Technology are being developed, including one focusing on leadership in energy field.

“Our goal is to create additional areas of study that continue to prepare the technology leaders of tomorrow,” he said. “Many industries are experiencing trends in leadership change due to managerial staff preparing for retirement. Our programs offer a good fit to prepare those working in the field to take on leadership roles.”

Thomas Edison State College provides collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults, wherever they live or work. The college is one of New Jersey’s 12 senior public institutions of higher education and offers undergraduate, graduate and noncredit programs in more than 100 areas of study that are designed around the unique needs of adults.



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Categories: Education, TechNews

Author:NJ Tech Council

The New Jersey Tech Council helps companies grow and supports the tech, innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems in the state and region.

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