Founded in 1983, the University of Advancing Technology is a small, private college “designed for technophiles…emphasizing the values of digital citizenship” while providing a “well-rounded college education”. Located in Tempe, Arizona, it is open 24/7 providing a campus crammed with computers (though still designed with Feng Shui principles) that provides cutting edge technological training to around 1200 traditional and online students worldwide.
UAT offers around 20 undergrad degrees and another 5 graduate degrees in disciplines that are focused on “advancing technology”. The most popular undergrad majors include Video Game Design, Robotics, and Network Security, while graduate majors include Emerging Technologies and Information Assurance. Looking to change the world through technology, UAT curriculum, from core to graduate major, are all designed around creating the next technological innovators, regardless of field. Faculty are often terminally degreed or recently returned from working in the field they now teach, taking advantage of small (15 student average) classes that work in groups learning both in class and at home (there are many online elements).
In fact,as it is a technology school, it is no surprise that there is a wealth of online/distance learning options for students (about 267 annually) through UAT-Online. Learning “interactively, in (5 week) intensive courses…at your convenience”, students take one course at a time, three total per 15 week semester in an asynchronous learning environment that give students all the flexibility of online learning, while still giving them access to faculty, cutting edge technology, and allows them to still work with other groups of students online. Enrollment is ongoing, so students can sign up for classes or a degree program online at any time.
There are seven Bachelor degrees offered to online learners, all completely online, including core curriculum courses (which can be taken by anyone, traditional or distance, through UAT-Online). There are 3 B.A. programs (Game Design, Game Art/Animation, and Virtual Modeling/Design) and 4 B. S. (Technology Forensics, Game Programming, Network Security, and Advancing Computer Science) for distance learners, all offering the same complete education as on campus equivalents (though with less lecture, but more assignment/individual work). Technology requirements for software/hardware are readily available and faculty for online classes “receive extensive training to help students succeed in an online environment”, participating in online forums, proctoring discussion boards, and being readily available through email to respond to any online concerns/questions.
Online tools for students have been blended into almost all courses, both traditional and online, utilizing the Internet to provide additional lectures, tutorials, and discovery learning (students researching and educating themselves). Striving to be a presence in both the “physical and online spheres”, UAT offers numerous online classes every semester as well.
UAT has made a mission of exploring and pushing the boundaries of technological learning, both on campus and virtually, encouraging research and providing numerous opportunities to excel and learn. They publish a Journal for Advancing Technology, host bi-annual technology forums to showcase emerging tech in all fields, and all students are required to present a portfolio before graduation, “the culmination of [the students] hard work and passion for technology”.
Looking to train those who will push technological innovation and become the leaders in their fields in the coming year, UAT provides choice, flexibility, and all the tools needed to succeed in any technology field.