Press Release

NYU Tandon School of Engineering Wins National Online Learning Prize

Quantitative Metrics and Cutting-edge Pedagogy Capture Online Learning Consortium Award

Recipients of the Ralph E. Gomory Award

The New York University Tandon School of Engineering, which grants online graduate and immersion certificates and master's degrees in more than a dozen fields, is the 2015 recipient of the Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education from the Online Learning Consortium (formerly known as the Sloan Consortium). The school’s online unit was recognized for outstanding success in furthering online learning programs in engineering, especially by using quantitative metrics to improve quality in its online pedagogy.

“Our virtual classrooms are among the best and most rigorous in the world,” said NYU Tandon Dean Katepalli Sreenivasan. “They provide our online students from across the nation and around the world with the same content, taught by the same noted professors as on campus. It is enormously gratifying to see the program’s dedicated faculty and staff honored by the nation’s premier organization in virtual education.”

The Gomory prize recognized these singular achievements as among the most accomplished in the industry:

  • 96 percent of the school’s online students complete their online courses
  • 89 percent of the school’s online master’s students earn their graduate degrees
  • 20 percent average enrollment increases, year after year
  • 75 percent growth in online programs over 10 years
  • 10,000 online enrollments over 10 years
  • 130 unique online courses, with growth at the rate of 10 new online courses a year
  • Online faculty and students on average spend about 15 hours per week in their virtual courses
  • 95 percent of online faculty return to teach again

The Gomory Award is the most recent of the online program’s many accolades. The Consortium named NYU Tandon’s online cyber security program the nation’s best online educational program—in any field—in 2011, and this year U.S. News & World Report ranked the school’s online graduate engineering program eighth in the entire country, the third successive year the publication ranked the school among the top dozen programs.

NYU Tandon’s online courses are delivered in active learning modules—which engage students in interactive learning sessions—in cybersecurity, bioinformatics, electrical engineering, and organizational behavior, among other high-tech areas. Online students get unlimited access to lectures, 24/7, from anywhere in the world. During real-time webinars, students participate in live Q&A sessions. With their instructor and fellow students, they share ideas using video, screen-sharing, chat rooms, and interactive polling over built-in phone and VOIP lines. High-quality video, audio, multimedia, and animation engage students. NYU encourages weekly live sessions, prompting peer-to-peer learning.

A recent survey the online unit’s graduates revealed 100 percent job placement within six months of graduation; for those already holding jobs, 40 percent reported they received a promotion or raise within the same period. Nearly 90 percent of those entering the online program graduated. By comparison, the National Council of Graduate Schools study found an average completion rate of 66 percent for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics master’s degree programs.

The award is named for Ralph Gomory, acclaimed applied mathematician and former IBM executive, who as president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation championed anytime-anywhere learning at the dawn of the Internet. Gomory is now a research professor at the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

“The Online Learning Consortium Awards acknowledge creative and effective approaches to advancing online education,” said Dr. Catheryn Cheal,  chair of the OLC Nominations, Awards and Recognition Committee. “The 2015 recipients represent extraordinary examples of the exciting innovation happening in online learning today, and we congratulate them on their successes.”
The Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education will be presented today, October 15, 2015, at the 21st Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference (OLC2015), in Florida.

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, when the NYU School of Civil Engineering and Architecture as well as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly) were founded. Their successor institutions merged in January 2014 to create a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to programs at its main campus in downtown Brooklyn, it is closely connected to engineering programs in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, and it operates business incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn.