Wichita State News
Photo: Courtesy
Pathways team leaders and Epicenter staff joined together this week at Stanford University for their first meeting.

Wichita State among 25 institutions picked for national innovation program

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wichita State University is among 25 U.S. institutions that have been selected by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) to join the Pathways to Innovation Program.

The Pathways to Innovation Program is run by Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA). It is designed to help institutions fully incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering education – a top priority for Wichita State.

Ongoing innovation is required to maintain America’s global competitiveness and address pressing problems. Engineering is the foundation of much of that innovation. Faculty and administrators participating in Epicenter’s Pathways program are taking on this challenge and leading their universities into a new era of engineering education that prepares students to tackle big problems and thrive in this ever-changing economy.

John Bardo
John Bardo

“Innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and technology will shape the future of Wichita State and ensure this region’s prosperity,” said WSU President John Bardo. “Our College of Engineering’s participation in this prestigious National Science Foundation program will help accelerate our momentum.”

Being a part of this program creates a training opportunity for Wichita State engineering faculty and staff to learn best practices on how to incorporate lessons of entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering curriculum and extracurricular opportunities for students.

“We believe that the knowledge from the Pathways Program is an essential pillar in successfully infusing innovation and entrepreneurship into our undergraduate curricula,” said WSU Dean of Engineering Royce Bowden.

The program is one of several initiatives at WSU intended to encourage a culture of innovation.

In December, WSU a gift of $1 million to support an annual program, called the Koch Innovation Challenge, in which freshmen and transfer students would compete for funding and scholarships to invent products and technologies.

How the Pathways program works

Participating schools have each assembled a team of faculty and academic leaders to assess their institution’s current offerings, design a unique strategy for change, and lead their peers in a two-year transformation process. James Steck, professor of aerospace engineering, and Steven Skinner, associate dean for research and graduate programs, are WSU’s co-leaders.

Program teams receive access to models for integrating entrepreneurship into engineering curriculum, custom online resources, guidance from a community of engineering and entrepreneurship faculty, and membership in a national network of schools with similar goals.

The schools in the new cohort join an inaugural group of 12 institutions that have participated in the program since January 2014. Their projects include innovation certificates and majors, maker and flexible learning spaces, first-year and capstone courses, faculty fellows programs, and innovation centers.

Learn more about the Pathways to Innovation Program at epicenter.stanford.edu/pathways-to-innovation.

The following universities were selected for the 2015 Pathways program:

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Clemson University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Hampton University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • James Madison University
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • Missouri University of Science & Technology
  • New York Institute of Technology
  • North Carolina A&T
  • Oregon State University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Temple University
  • Universidad del Turabo
  • University of Alabama - Birmingham
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez
  • University of Texas - Arlington
  • University of Texas - El Paso
  • Washington State University
  • Wichita State University
This story has been tagged Students, College of Engineering, Faculty/Staff, Technology, Experience-based learning, Tech Transfer, Innovation, Innovation Campus. See all RSS feeds here
Created on Friday, January 16, 2015; Last modified on Tuesday, January 20, 2015