Tech Offerings Get Big Boost

Foundation Grant Powers New Programs in Cybersecurity and Data Analytics

As the demands of the business world constantly evolve, Northwood nimbly evolves to meet them, most recently by developing advanced Cybersecurity and Data Analytics programs that will give students highdemand skills.

“Continuous improvement is part of our DNA as a university,” said Kristin Stehouwer, Ph.D., Northwood’s executive vice president, chief operating officer, and chief academic officer. “Through our Advisory Councils and our network of high-level contacts, CEOs and employers are telling us that the things keeping them up at night are cybersecurity concerns and how to leverage big data. We are creating stand-alone majors as well as infusing these skills across our curriculum.”

Technology is an important component of the acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), which has become a key focus of educators nationwide. The Midland-based Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation is a major supporter of STEM initiatives, and also serves as a leader in strengthening the local community, which helps explain the Foundation’s multimillion- dollar grant for Northwood’s latest technology advancements.

“We are proud to support the growth of important and timely science, technology, and math programs at Northwood University,” said Macauley Whiting Jr., president of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. “Every industry today has a need for leaders with analytical skills; these initiatives are critical to innovation and job creation in our region.” The grant will fund physical technology improvements, mainly in Jordan Hall, as well as the hiring of new faculty with the high-value expertise required to give Northwood students world-class preparation for professional success.

“The grant is invaluable in allowing Northwood to be a leader in combining business with STEM education – creating an even more vibrant university,” said Justin Marshall, vice president of University Advancement and Alumni.

Beginning in the 2020-21 academic year, Northwood will offer undergraduate majors in Cybersecurity and Data Analytics. In addition, the University is adding a master’s degree and developing a doctoral degree with an emphasis on data analytics that, once the accreditation process is completed, will be Northwood’s first doctoral offering.

All Northwood students will benefit from the enhanced educational capabilities made possible by the Foundation’s grant.

“This is a game-changer for us,” Stehouwer said. “This truly will be transformative for our curriculum. And it will ensure that our students have everything they need to become the leaders of a global, freeenterprise society, today and for many years to come.”

Timeline for Technology Advances

2019-20

  • Install cybersecurity and data analytics labs within Jordan Hall to serve as the nucleus of technology instruction and related activities

  • Expand faculty to support development of technology focus across the curriculum

  • Build public awareness of changes, helping to build and broaden pipelines for student enrollment

  • Hire doctoral program director who will champion implementation of blueprint to develop leaders in the booming field of data analytics

  • Apply for accreditation of doctoral program by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

2020-21

  • Begin comprehensive Jordan Hall renovations, including public space enhancements and electrical infrastructure upgrades to accommodate current and future demands of modern computer labs and classroom space

  • Transform the role of STEM in business education by integrating data analytics into all academic programs

  • Launch Northwood’s first-ever doctoral program, upon HLC approval, providing analytics expertise powered by newly hired doctoral faculty with world-class credentials

2021-22

  • Complete Jordan Hall enhancements, creating a dedicated space for Cybersecurity and Data Analytics programs that meets the needs of today’s students