Tulane to expand engineering offerings

The Tulane School of Science and Engineering will offer certificate programs in electrical, mechanical, materials and computational engineering as part of a new curriculum, school officials have announced.

Under the program, students majoring in engineering physics may choose one of the four concentrations, enabling them to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics and a certificate in their specialty area.

Lev Kaplan, chairman of the physics and engineering physics department, said the certificates will let students combine the "broad foundation" of an engineering physics major with a concentration that focuses on a particular area of engineering.

Tulane began offering the concentrations at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year. Each certificate has a pre-approved set of coursework that meets the requirements of that certificate.

Nick Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering, said the new program will give students an edge as they apply to graduate school or enter the job market.

Delgado creates new STEM opportunities

Delgado Community College is creating new opportunities for underserved communities in New Orleans by introducing students to STEM-related education, school officials said.

Science, technology, engineering and math collectively are known as STEM. 

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, openings in STEM-related occupations are at an all-time high and are expected to grow 7 percent more than openings in other fields through 2018.

Delgado said it has responded to a need for skilled workers in New Orleans since 2013, when the school introduced its Technical Skills Expo to underserved students.

The TSE introduces high school students to high-wage, high-demand occupations in the region as viable career pathways offered by Delgado through its dual enrollment program, officials said.

Featured programs at the expo include carpentry, electrical, automotive, welding, industrial maintenance, precision machining and instrumentation and control. During the 2013 and 2014 expos, Delgado and its business/industry partners provided overviews of each occupation with real-life demonstrations on state-of-the-art equipment to approximately 1,500 students.

Last spring, the dual enrollment  program led 15 students to earn a certificate of technical studies while earning a high school degree. Since graduation, many of the students have secured employment in the local technical skills workforce, according to Delgado.

UNO has new real estate finance program

The University of New Orleans Department of Planning and Urban Studies is offering a professional development certificate in community development finance, school officials have announced.

The program, run in collaboration with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is designed for working professionals with some previous experience in community development or real estate who are looking to deepen their understanding of the redevelopment process.

Classes begin Oct. 5. The course lasts 30 weeks.

Financial support from the Greater New Orleans Foundation enabled UNO to develop the certificate program aimed specifically at building the capacity of housing and community development organizations and ensuring their success in carrying out the vision expressed through HousingNOLA, the City of New Orleans’ 10-year plan for post-Katrina redevelopment.

According to Marla Nelson, associate professor of planning and urban studies at UNO, recent flooding in south Louisiana created a renewed interest in this type of expertise.

The certificate program consists of six non-credit but university-level courses focused on real estate finance, financial analysis and real estate development.

All classes are taught by Alexandra Stroud, a real estate developer and consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors, as well as expertise in complex community development planning and financing.

Stroud holds a master’s in real estate development from MIT and a master’s in architecture from Tulane University and is the founding director of the master of sustainable real estate development program at Tulane.

Classes meet Wednesday evenings and two Saturdays per month on UNO’s campus. Tuition for the complete certificate program is $6,000; individual courses can be taken for $1,000 each. Classes will be limited to 20 students; instructor office hours will be offered weekly in person and via video chat. 

Follow Della Hasselle on Twitter, @dellahasselle.