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GCU Opens New College Of Science, Engineering And Technology

(Photo by Andrew Bernier)
One of the prep rooms at GCU's chemistry lab.

The three major universities in Arizona often boast scientific research projects and developments, yet a new college for science in Arizona aims to take a different approach. This fall, Grand Canyon University will be opening its doors to the new College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

GCU is primarily an undergraduate school, so emphasis is not placed on graduate research, which is often the highlight of larger university science and engineering programs.

Starting with computer science and IT programs, GCU is offering a few of the intended programs for the new college. It will open the remaining programs in the fall of 2015, such as electrical engineering. Dr. Mark Wooden, dean of the college, said that emphasis for instruction is placed on teaching, career preparedness and transferable job skills.

“Think about the workforce," Wooden said. "Not just the skillset that a student needs to go be an IT person, but create a workforce of people that can go out there and create businesses. So we’re hoping that we’re able to help students stay in the state of Arizona, particularly in the west side of Phoenix, get out there and build businesses.”

The new facility equipped with industry grade technology and labs is expected to expand as new programs move in next fall, though the school is expecting a lower enrollment to start its first year. Knowing that it can’t compete with the research ability of ASU and UofA, GCU representatives feel this is a niche it can fill to address the emerging science education demand.

Andrew Bernier was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2016.