Touro College Launches Experience-Based Master's Degree Programs in Software Development and Ecommerce

Date: November 21, 2012

All-Star Professors from Carnegie Mellon and Northwestern to Join Touro's New 'Software Institute'.

New York, N.Y. – New York City-based Touro College today launched unique master’s degree programs in Software Development and eCommerce Technology. Created and taught by faculty members who once taught at such prestigious universities as Yale, Northwestern and Carnegie Mellon, the programs differ from other online education offerings by utilizing an experience-based, “story-centered” approach that gives graduates job-ready skills.

Rather than using lectures, homework and tests, students at Touro’s new Software Institute will “learn by doing” by working on real-world projects.

“Today, Touro College adds a dynamic new dimension to our academic offerings,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, president of the Touro College and University System. “The Software Institute will provide a unique and valuable educational experience to students around the country and around the world, equipping them with the technical and other skills required to succeed in the workplaces of today and tomorrow.”

The Software Institute’s programs were developed under the guidance of Roger Schank, former chair of the Computer Science Department at Yale University and founder of the Institute for the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. Professor Schank is recognized as one of the world’s experts on effective education. He is renowned for introducing a unique, learn-by-doing approach to online education, which has been proven both in the corporate world and in graduate programs offered by Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Schank’s long-time colleagues from Northwestern and Carnegie Mellon have joined Touro faculty to deliver these programs.

Coached by faculty members, enrollees will learn skills in high demand by the burgeoning information technology sector and be evaluated on their output according to professional standards. Students will graduate job-ready and well equipped to succeed in the workplace, while bringing an impressive portfolio of relevant work to show potential employers.

“The Software Institute helps to position Touro College as a visionary institution that leverages the newest and best ideas to deliver world-class education,” said Dr. Marian Stoltz-Loike, Vice President for Online Education at Touro College. “Most important, its innovative education approach positions graduates for immediate employment in high-demand, high-compensation fields with the confidence that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to succeed.”

The Software Development Program targets younger college graduates who have discovered that their degrees have not equipped them to get the jobs they want, as well as mid-career professionals who have reached dead-ends in other fields. Starting with no background in software development or computer science, students’ progress from developing simple websites to programming complex web applications and finally to developing mobile applications, learning such skills as HTML and JavaScript website development, programming in Ruby on Rails and Java, and team-based agile software development along the way.

The eCommerce Technology Program targets similar students who are differentiated by a specific interest in doing business online. Again starting with no background, students learn to implement online business models as new ventures or in the context of existing businesses, to develop eCommerce websites, to employ the latest security and privacy technologies, to implement dynamic pricing, to perform search engine optimization, and to design high-quality user experiences.

“Research has shown that the best way to learn knowledge and skills  is to apply them in realistic but safe situations, to make mistakes, to try again, and eventually to succeed," said Professor Ray Bareiss, Director of the Software Institute. “Our programs emphasize knowledge and skills to be used, not facts to be memorized, regurgitated on a test, and then forgotten. The things our students learn will transfer naturally to the professional workplace, giving them a significant advantage over students who must struggle to transfer the results of their more traditional educations to the workplace.

“We look forward to welcoming our inaugural group of students in January 2013.”

For more information, contact gradsi.info@touro.edu or call 888-722-7176.