DeBaere, who earned her Ph.D. at BU, said she was fortunate to be able to finance her education by teaching, but she had classmates who struggled because they couldn’t afford to attend school full-time and therefore couldn’t take on teaching assistantships.
The MicroMasters programs provide remote access to BU courses at a lower cost, creating opportunities for students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to take graduate-level courses. The programs can also help students demonstrate that they’re strong candidates for a traditional graduate program.
“It’s a win for the university as well,” says DeBaere.
Colleges Use Transformation to Make Smarter Use of Data
California State University, the largest four-year university system in the country, has almost 50,000 employees and nearly a half-million students spread across 23 campuses. It also has a wealth of data about its students. But when Brendan Aldrich came to Cal State a year ago as the chief data officer, his biggest challenge was wrapping his arms around all that data.
“Since it was stored in so many different locations and repositories, one of my first jobs was to figure out how to bring all of that information together fast enough and flexibly enough from 23 different campuses every single day,” he says. “We wanted to rationalize that data and begin to capitalize on it — to make use of it, to help make better decisions and to help ensure our students are supported as much as possible.”
Aldrich spearheaded a data lake project that’s nearing the end of its first phase. “We’ve been pulling in the data for over a year, and now we’re populating our data lake with full sets of every piece of data we currently use for all of our warehousing, analytics, queries, dashboards and reports from every campus across the system so that both we in the chancellor’s office as well as the individual campuses can start to interact with this data more flexibly,” he says.
The project says Aldrich, is enormous, but the payoffs are equally big: “Every one of our campuses will be more empowered to work with data and to engage in more modern and more relevant data projects in the service of their students and their constituents.”