Fifty years ago this September, Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Engineering Education Center in St. Louis, known then as the Graduate Engineering Center, opened with nothing but a borrowed desk in an office above a drug store across the street from the newly established University of Missouri-St. Louis campus.
When the center opened, it offered two master’s degree programs to the 84 students enrolled. Since then, the self-supporting center has graduated more than 2,700 master’s and Ph.D. students. Today, the center offers programs in 17 disciplines.
Enrollment hasn’t been the only change. For the program’s first four years, instructors taught courses in makeshift classrooms scattered across St. Louis, even at a local junior high school, before space became available on the UMSL campus.
But in 2012, the center moved into offices designed to support the program’s modern distance-learning approach.
“Almost all our courses are now conducted online,” says center director Victor Birman, professor of mechanical engineering. “We have three distance classrooms built to teach and deliver HD-video courses by the Internet. Local students in St. Louis can attend live lecture at the EEC or participate in the class from work or home similar to other distance students. We have students all over the world taking classes delivered via the Internet from the EEC.”
More information about the Engineering Education Center is available online at eec.mst.edu.