June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
In May 2016, TheTexas A&M University System announced an initiative to transform a 2,000-acre tract owned by the System into a premier, high-tech research, technology development, and education center, which will be called the RELLIS Campus. When completed, RELLIS will have five focal areas: an academic campus, a historic campus, a full-scale testing site, secure industry laboratories, and joint research facilities. The goal is for one campus to provide new and multiple pathways to an academic degree for students with the opportunity to obtain multiple certificates and to enable new technologies to be developed and progress from the laboratory to the marketplace through collaborative education and research.
When fully developed, as many as 25,000 students eventually could be studying at the RELLIS Gateway Education Center, the focal point of the educational and training activities at RELLIS. The System’s 11 universities, its agencies, and Blinn College are collaborating on the campus to provide relevant academic and workforce development programs and to contain the cost of education. The collaborative nature of the RELLIS Campus offers unparalleled opportunities for students to obtain academic credentials from multiple institutions, but in a manner that is seamless and transparent for the student. For example, students will be able to pursue a major from one institution within the System, a minor from another, a certificate from one of the agencies, and participate in applied research with industry, all at the same location. In this context, RELLIS is a 21st century polytechnic campus.
The guiding principles for development of the academic program offerings on the RELLIS Campus are to:
• Provide students the opportunity to obtain a 21st century polytechnic education through synergies in academic and research opportunities; • Avoid duplication of programs and course offerings among the partner institutions; • Provide students with academic and workforce offerings in high-need programs that will lead to employment after graduation; and • Provide programs that collectively will provide for the economic viability of the RELLIS campus and be of financial benefit to the offering institutions.
Presented in this paper is the roadmap from planning to implementation necessary for RELLIS to achieve it full envisioned capability. Included are the criteria for selecting the degree programs that are to be offered, seamless academic advising across multiple institutions with each student retaining the same advisor for the entire degree program, providing all student services necessary for academic study, developing a consistent tuition and fee model across institutions that have varying tuition and fee structures, and recouping the revenue necessary to support the campus infrastructure. This paper can serve as a model for other institutions that are pursuing a similar endeavor.
Nelson, J. K., & Barton, J. A., & Hallmark, J. R., & Hamilton, B. C. (2017, June), RELLIS: A Transformational Initiative for Collaborative Education and Research Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28795
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