Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering

Our partnership with Western Colorado University is off to a great start. It allows us to offer our CU Boulder Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science degrees to a broader set of the population. There’s a huge shortage for STEM education and computer science education in particular. There’s something like 12-15 jobs for every computer science graduate out there. And mechanical and industrial engineers are second and third in projected job growth among engineers. STEM is kind of the foundation that underscores many of the major societal challenges that are facing our world today. People are used to thinking of computer science as a separate discipline. And it’s really not. It’s forming the fabric of virtually all disciplines today. And so whether you go into medicine or energy or aerospace artificial intelligence, data analysis, software engineering, the Internet of Things or one of, you know, actually thousands of
fields all of that is just absolutely exploding. Within our college here in Boulder, the two
most popular and fastest growing majors are mechanical engineering and computer science. CU has one of the top 20 engineering programs in the country. They get many many more applications than they have slots available. We had about 9,000 applicants last year and we had 900 incoming freshmen. Now, we can offer something to those students
that don’t get into the University of Colorado in Boulder but still are very interested in
pursuing an education and career in computer science and/or engineering. There are students who probably don’t want
to come to Boulder. They may prefer the smaller campus setting
that Western offers. Without this program, I don’t think I would’ve
been able to go to a place like Boulder. My draw to Western was how small it is, because
I knew I would get such a personalized education. Western has a long history of teaching excellence. Small class sizes, low student-teacher ratio. And that allows for a lot of 1:1 time with
the professors, so after lectures you can ask them very specific questions and they
have the time for that. Now, to be able to have that same teaching style combined with the highly in-demand curricula that they’re seeking kind of a dream come true for a lot of them. It’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned for
the two campuses. But more importantly, it’s a real win for students
who can now earn a CU Boulder degree in Gunnison.

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