Our Commitment to Lifelong Engineering Education at the Cockrell School

July 29, 2021

For more than 45 years, the Cockrell School of Engineering has provided engineering professional development and lifelong learning opportunities for working engineers, corporate clients, alumni, and STEM professionals.

Over that 45+ years, the content, organizational structure, and modality of the courses and programs have changed to address both pedagogical and andragogical advancements and the needs of our learners. We provide relevant educational programs for today’s world, offering programs that help STEM professionals keep up-to-date on technology and engineering best practices at all stages of their careers. Whether in person or online, our programs meet the wide-ranging needs of the new traditional, nontraditional learner.

As we enter a new decade, the awareness of the importance of professional, executive, and continuing education (lifelong learning) is increasing within higher education and society. The “60-Year Curriculum” concept has been touted as a framework for higher education institutions to face these challenges and is a model for institutions to consider. First developed and espoused by researchers and practitioners at the University of California-Irvine Division of Career Pathways, Harvard Extension School, and University of Washington’s Continuum College, the curriculum is meant to be complementary with two, four, or six-year degrees. Learning of the future is about more than degrees for a defined period of time. Instead, it’s about delivering in-demand programs and innovative student services to meet the needs of learners throughout their lifetimes. Though we may not refer to engineering executive education as a 60-year curriculum at the Cockrell School, we ensure that we serve engineering learners before, during, and after their time on the Forty Acres.

Technological change, increasing lifespans, and multiple careers of differing types drive us to innovate in service to our post-baccalaureate learners wherever they are in their professional and personal life. This innovation is providing tangible benefits to the learners and employers. Examples range from knowledge expanding short courses, quick hot topic “TexTalks” webinars, returning learners regaining the intellectual spark, and new graduate programs (both Master’s degrees and Graduate Certificates) to drive career advancement. In addition to those benefits, our continuing and professional education teams are creating new content delivery models, custom programs, micro-credentials, and customer engagement strategies that are already influencing traditional education programs.

With engineering’s fast-paced technological advances, whether you’re working on AI/ML applications, new and improved materials, autonomy and robotics, water and sustainability, or engineering management and leadership, you have to stay up-to-date to drive discovery and innovation. Connect with us to support that lifelong learning journey for yourself or your team. Together, we can change the world.