The education scenario has evolved tremendously over the past decade. Gone are the days when it used to be enough for students to spend four long years working on assignments, labs and exams to earn a useful degree that showcased their competence and was redeemable for a good job. Today, employers look for graduates who don't need extreme training sessions. Students are required to learn and apply their knowledge at the same time, both inside and outside the classroom, all without adding extra months or years to their course duration. In today's ongoing drive for efficiency and competitiveness, education and training are now seen as the responsibility of educational institutes. Keeping up with the need of the student community and giving downright importance to experiential learning, Harrisburg University provides an exceptional and affordable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education with a vision to offer academic programs at undergraduate and graduate levels for a diversity of learners, using student centered, technologically advanced, and experiential learning designsthat emphasize on student success.
With Experiential learning at its heart, Harrisburg University directs all the undergraduate students - regardless of major - to complete an internship of at least 135 hours in their respective stream before they earn a graduate degree. While the students are paid during this period, this internship gives them a real-world experience that is highly valued by future employers. "We work hard at Harrisburg University to make private STEM college education accessible to historically underserved communities. Our students conduct meaningful research that literally is shaping our world. From using drones and thermal imagery to cleaning up polluted waterways and harmful environment that endangered animals face, to using hydrogels to develop 3D printed skin grafts that make treatments more affordable and accessible to severe burn patients, our students team up with professors to conduct meaningful research that puts them on the ground floor of ceiling shattering developments. Harrisburg University's hands-on education gives our students the experience that matters the most to employers and makes our pedagogy unique. Whether that experience comes from research conducted in our labs, or in the offices of our internship partners like Highmark, Penn National, PSECU credit union, or health providers across the region, these spaces have routinely become the breeding ground for successful careers for our students," says Dr. Eric Darr, President, Harrisburg University.
Fostering a Diverse Community of Learners
Recognized as the number one U.S. STEM University by Corporate LiveWire, Harrisburg University is accustomed to working with international scholars and today, the HU community comprises of students from more than 106 countries with its student body having 52 percent female and 55 percent minority. "Our student body comprises of more than 6000 international students from over 106 countries. In fact, 90 percent of our graduate population consists of international students and while attending Harrisburg University, all students learn from diverse faculty and staff who are experts in their fields and connect them to in-demand fields in the U.S. and around the globe. Adding to this, the Harrisburg region is also the sixth fastest growing Indian population area in the United States. Indian students add value to our University by helping us grow, not only in terms of population, but in determining the resources and program needs we offer to our students in the U.S., and overseas," mentions Dr. Eric Darr.
"Recognized as the number one U.S. STEM University by Corporate LiveWire, Harrisburg University is accustomed to working with international scholars and today, the HU community comprises of students from more than 106 countries with its student body having 52 percent female and 55 percent minority"
From programs that have been ranked nationally, to hands-on experiential education and array of learning support opportunities to modern living accommodations, and a location in a thriving capital city that already has a large population of families from India, Harrisburg University is a renowned name recognized for its first-class STEM education and its unique offerings not just in the U.S. but all across the globe. Some of the popular graduate degree programs offered by the University include Project Management, Analytics, and Information Systems Engineering and Management. These are three fields where graduates are in-demand across the U.S. The university has also acknowledged the growing enrollment in Biotechnology and Computer Information Sciences graduate programs. "Recently, we launched a Healthcare Informatics, Techpreneurship, and Human Interaction Design, graduate programs, which is already seeing rising enrollments. For undergraduates, our Biotechnology, Interactive Media, Computer and Information Sciences, Biotechnology, Analytics, Integrated Sciences, Management and eBusiness, and Geospatial Technology are all strong draws for students. For graduate students, we structure our programs in a manner which is sensitive to their work schedules. Master's degree students need only to travel to campus one Saturday per month. Other classes take place online, which provides our graduate students great flexibility to work and maintain a family," speaks Dr. Darr. Adding further, Dr. Eric Darr says, "At Harrisburg University, we constantly ask ourselves, 'How do we attract more students?' The consistent answer is 'by providing them with classes and experiences that deliver results.' Much of this comes down to technology, which our University's pedagogy is largely built upon."
To help international students transition, HU also offers the following programs-
1. SMARTHINKING - This is an online tutoring service that is free to all Harrisburg University students. Students receive live one-on-one sessions with a professional tutor in an array of subjects.
2. One-on-One Advising - Each student is assigned a faculty advisor upon enrollment and Student Services provides individual advising. This advisement is focused on academic success strategies, such as time management, study skills, career aptitude, decision making, and goal setting. Students facing obstacles outside of the realm of academics will be assisted and referred to the appropriate services.
3. Tutoring Program - Individual peer tutors are available in many subjects and are available upon request of an individual student.
4. Technology Literacy Program and the Bridge Program
5. Connections Program - This includes Student Orientation and welcome programs. During each of these sessions, new students are encouraged to learn more about HU classes, academics, social events, study skills and everything else that will help them to become successful at HU.
Any international student can take advantage of these resources to ensure they are successful with their academics, career pursuit and life apart from academics.
Structured to Support Employment Goals of Students
With its affordable education, student-centered faculty, and sophisticated technology capabilities that improve the skills of students, Harrisburg University is promising to help undergraduate and graduate students climb the corporate ladder. Keeping up with its vision, Harrisburg University has associated with hundreds of employers who help the University provide the real life work experience that makes all the difference. These companies hire HU's interns who quickly become vital members of the companies. Thus, HU's relationships help 92 percent of its students land jobs in their fields or get accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation. "In today's competitive job market, a degree is essential, but you often need more. You also need experience and connections. At Harrisburg University each student gets both. Our campus is in the heart of a thriving state capital ripe with internship and mentorship opportunities. We help students take maximum advantage of our location," shares Dr. Darr.
The relationships built by Harrisburg University with educational groups and institutions in India, and the U.S., along with its team of international student counselors and faculty, allows the University a unique ability to understand the needs of Indian students and deliver the resources they need to successfully transition to Harrisburg University. Harrisburg University has also established agreements with institutions such as the Ryan International Group of Institutions, India's largest private K-12 private educational organization and it has collaborative agreements with numerous colleges including Mumbai University and Ruia College in India to offer 2+2 programs and undergraduate programs.
"These partnerships give students in India the opportunity to come to the U.S. to obtain either an undergraduate or graduate degree. At HU, we believe that, if you want to attract technically savvy students interested in the STEM programs that we offer, it only makes sense to look not just within the U.S., but also across India. Bangalore and Hyderabad are two technology centers of the world, and the education Indian students are exposed to fits well with the strengths of Harrisburg University. We continue to manage our relationships and meet regularly with our Indian partners to look for ways to improve our curriculum and receive feedback from Indian administrators, faculty, students, parents, and other stakeholders," utters Dr. Darr.
A Notch above the Rest
Having been recognized by studentloans.net as #1 private university for awarding scholarship aid in the U.S, Harrisburg University takes pride in providing students from around the world with an unmatched affordable education in STEM fields. Via partnerships with private industry, governmental agencies, and more, Harrisburg University considers every first-year and transfer student for a scholarship ranging between $6,000 to $20,000 and almost 99 percent of its full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. Harrisburg University has also frozen tuition fee for the past 5 years. While other colleges are raising costs, this university is holding firm, keeping HU as one of the lowest private university tuitions in the entire state of Pennsylvania. But offering an affordable price is only part of what Harrisburg University does to make attending college attractive. Harrisburg University also celebrates Diwali (Festival of Lights) every year, which is one of the major festivals celebrated in India. "We always support the local Indian community, which also supports HU. We maintain a special bond with the Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania (AIACPA), and through this, the University has participated and sponsored many of the organization's events, including its annual India Day celebration, the AIACPA Gala and more."
Harrisburg University fosters a diverse community of learners, provides access and support to students who want to pursue a career in science and technology and supports business creation and economic development. In the years to come, the institute promises the future Indian students to make them the same priority as they make to all other students. "When you enrol in Harrisburg University, you will find a university of professors who know your name, and you will work hard and get a great education that will open many doors to a successful future. We boast a 13:1 professor-to student ratio, which means students receive the personal attention they need. Harrisburg University students get an affordable education, handson experience, expert faculty, unmatched campus facilities and technology, and a highly welcoming accessible community of learners," concludes Dr. Eric Darr.