President’s Update: First Signature Program

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Education Innovation Initiative (ei2)
Named First Signature Program

I am pleased to announce that Bowie State University has designated its first signature program to become a focal point in helping to raise the profile of the University throughout the region and ultimately across the nation. The Education Innovation Initiative (ei2) is a career pathways program that will enhance our ability to recruit, retain and graduate more students to excel in the workforce of tomorrow.
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By definition, a signature program must be something that (1) uniquely distinguishes us from other institutions; (2) is linked to an area of demonstrated high-quality programs; (3) has the potential to attract students, faculty and funding; and (4) is relevant to today’s world and to the future. ei2 meets all of these criteria and has been endorsed by the campus academic and shared governance leadership.

MCBSU Logo.jpgThe program was developed by alumnus Mr. Traviss Green (’01), chief technology transition officer with Lockheed Martin, a global security, aerospace and information technology company, in partnership with the Maryland Center at Bowie State University. Through this collaborative effort, ei2 has been designed to help close the achievement gap in underrepresented populations in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), arts and humanities-related fields. The program creates a pipeline from pre-kindergarten to college, guiding talented students from Prince George’s County Public Schools to Bowie State University by engaging them with real-world experiences that prepare them for leadership in the technology careers of the future.

Lockheed Martin has invested more than $2 million worth of technology at the University, including a $1.3 million FlexPod, which has the power of an Enterprise data center but is comparable to the size of a coffee table. This unique cloud computing configuration, which is often referred to as a mobile data center in a box, is not available at any other university in the country. The partnership with Lockheed Martin will provide the University with ongoing technical and material support to advance ei2, including opportunities for faculty to work on contracts with businesses across the region.

Using a multi-disciplinary approach, students and faculty in computer science, communications, English, and fine arts are teaming to solve real-world problems for corporate and governmental customers. The first cohort of ei2 fellows has already gained notoriety in an article in the Washington Post for their excellent work in developing technology solutions for Prince George’s County. These experiences with many different kinds of organizations will arm our students with knowledge and skills beyond the reach of most college students, making them valuable recruits who will be sought after by employers. They will enter the workforce having already worked in project teams to solve 21st century problems for real companies using state-of-the-art technology environments.

ei2 has the potential to eventually grow to include all of the academic programs at the University, providing students with opportunities to learn the integrated processes of involving varied expertise in developing technology-based business solutions.

The goals of ei2 align with the strategic goals and objectives of Bowie State University by incentivizing students to progress toward successful completion of their degree programs and preparing them to excel in STEM, arts and humanities-related careers.

I encourage you to join me in spreading the news about our new signature program. I look forward to sharing future exciting developments about ei2.