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Updates & Innovations


WSU Launches Digital District, Adobe Creative Campus

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Weber State initiated long-term strategies to promote digital literacy, and the shift to online learning and an infusion of CARES Act funding enabled plans to move forward ahead of schedule.

In March, the university opened the Digital District and announced Weber State as the newest Adobe Creative Campus, a designation given to a select group of colleges and universities worldwide.

The Digital District provides a wide array of tools for faculty in Lampros Hall, including a podcast studio, mobile SMART Board TVs, technology-enhanced collaboration spaces, and an active-learning classroom. This classroom can quickly shift from accommodating a lecture to fostering group work in high-tech pods.

Resources for students are located at Stewart Library, where students can check out laptops and hot spots. They can also access an enhanced computer lab with double monitors and high-powered processors. Staff are located nearby, available to provide assistance to students when they need it.

“We already had envisioned this Digital District and done years of planning,” said Brenda Kowalewski, associate provost. “When the pandemic hit, we had all of our plans in place and could leverage CARES funding for this very purpose.”

CS Flex Program More Than Quadruples Expected Enrollment

The School of Computing in the College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology (EAST) launched its CS Flex Program in fall 2020 with plans to enroll just 90 students, but 400 registered.

“This is more than we expected. It seems this flexible approach to learning is meeting student needs,” said Linda DuHadway, CS Flex coordinator.

The program offers flexible start dates, facilitates accelerated progress and allows students to spend more time on material they do not understand. Students can customize their CS Flex and standard computer science courses to take the classes they need in a way that fits their life.

Husband and wife Alexander “A.J.” and Jungeun “Angela” Herold are among the students who enrolled to gain skills for a new career path. “We do have really busy schedules, and the thing we’ve liked about the program is it allows us to pause when we need and take our time getting through a section of the course,” A.J. explained.

With funding support from the Provost’s office, the Office of Continuing Education and EAST, the program added additional sections to accommodate all the students who enrolled.

“The CS Flex Program has received long-term funding from the Utah Legislature through the Strategic Workforce Initiative (SWI) Program,” DuHadway said. “We will continue to offer classes using the CS Flex model. We are also developing curriculums for new CS Flex courses.”

As of June 2021, more than 600 students applied to participate in CS Flex.

New Degree in Outdoor Leadership

Students were able to sign up for the new outdoor leadership Associate of Applied Science starting in fall 2021. While the current outdoor leadership bachelor’s degree focuses on the administration side of outdoor and community recreation, this associate’s degree will make sure students acquire the technical skills they need for entry-level employment in the outdoor industry.

“This is important, because the typical frontline positions when you first graduate are field-based and require significant outdoor technical training,” said Cass Morgan, program director for Outdoor & Community Recreation Education at Weber State.

Students will be able to earn certifications such as wilderness medicine, rock climbing, mountain biking, avalanche education, leave no trace and swiftwater rescue.