President Dreyfus Reflects, Offers Vision for the Future
In 1966, ECPI University Founder Alfred Dreyfus saw the future. Computer technology was in its infancy. Still, he believed the demand for computer programmers was about to soar. At the time, few educators shared this belief, but Mr. Dreyfus was undeterred and developed one of the nation’s first institutions for teaching computer programming.
At its essence, ECPI University was born out of a need. Employers needed programmers but could not find them. ECPI responded. And as ECPI University has grown and evolved through the years, it has done so in response to other changing needs. As the school enters its next half century, Mr. Dreyfus’ son and current president, Mark Dreyfus, shares his thoughts on the institution’s history and its future.
Can you share a significant memory of your father and his vision for the school?
There’s something my dad used to say all the time which I try to keep in mind: ‘Always take care of the student.’ It’s a simple, but all-encompassing belief that our job is clear. If we make sure each student is given the resources to succeed and receives great value for their education dollar, then we as an institution will have fulfilled our purpose.
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What do you find most rewarding?
It’s an honor to lead such a caring group of faculty and staff members. We all work together to be responsive, adaptive, caring, and accountable. Ultimately, we all want the same thing – for each student to become a successful graduate.
How is ECPI University responding to changes in the education and employment marketplace?
There are two things that are happening right now in education. One is the emergence of adaptive learning. Technology is converging with education. ECPI University is committed to investing in classroom technology to enhance student engagement and effective learning.
The second thing is that there is a certain expectation from students surrounding performance. It’s no longer simply about earning a degree, but rather getting one that delivers a career. At ECPI University, we are constantly seeking to improve, evolve, and adapt our programs to the changes in the global marketplace. This is particularly true for STEM and Healthcare, but really, we apply that expectation to all our programs.
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Also, we believe it’s important to demonstrate a willingness to be accountable and transparent to the consumer. We’re proud of our graduation and employment rates. We are proud of the starting salaries being offered to our graduates. Many in higher education are afraid of consumer information. We embrace it.
What changes do you see on the horizon in the coming decades?
We are going to see more adaptive learning and blending of online and classroom education. At ECPI University, we continue to devote significant resources toward this. Lastly, I think prospective students will be more discerning and selective when it comes to choosing a school. They will want to know more about their probability of success, so the information needs to be there. They’ll want to know specifics about levels of student engagement, program success, and how long it should take to graduate.
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