School of Engineering renamed to represent computing industry

Krystal Miller, Staff Writer

Quinnipiac University renamed the School of Engineering to the School of Computing and Engineering on Nov. 9, to represent the growing industry of computer science. 

“Changing the name is representative of the programs we have in our school, so it’s more representative of what we have in our school and also where the industry’s going in terms of computing,” said Lynn Byers, interim dean of the School of Computing and Engineering. 

The prevalence of the computer science industry influenced Quinnipiac University’s School of Computing and Engineering to change its name. (Photo contributed by Autumn Driscoll/Quinnipiac University)

Laboratory spaces will feature updated equipment on the Mount Carmel campus. The university will turn a classroom in Tator Hall into a collaborative classroom with monitors on the end of each table to allow students to work on a piece of code together. An additional classroom in the Center for Communications and Engineering will be renovated. 

“We’re going to convert to another collaborative classroom to support the enrollment in the computing programs,” Byers said.

Around 40% of the school’s current students are pursuing a computing-focused degree, according to Quinnipiac’s website. Provost Debra Liebowitz said the administration is implementing these changes because computing programs are expected to grow in demand and opportunities. 

As specified in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is expected to grow 13% from 2020-30, which is faster than average for all occupations. These occupations would add about 667,600 new jobs. 

It’s more representative of what we have in our school and also where the industry’s going in terms of computing.

— Lynn Byers, interim dean of School of Engineering and Computing

There were 10 graduates in the computer science program in 2019-20, eight in 2020-21 and now 74 in 2021-22. 

Evan Williams, a junior mechanical engineering major, said the new name has no negative impact for the school. 

“It will also make it clearer to people this isn’t just the engineering program,” Williams said. 

Christopher Gambardella, a junior civil engineering major, did not have a preference in what the school should be named. 

“I didn’t even know it got changed, I’m still going to call it CCE,” Gambardella said. 

Students can now see the School of Computing and Engineering when researching computing along with programs in other schools at Quinnipiac. There are computing programs across campus, such as game design and data science in the College of Arts and Sciences, computer information systems in the School of Business and graphic and interactive design in the School of Communications. 

“By adding computing to our school name the effect will be to increase the visibility of computing across campus,” Byers said. 

Connor Lawless

Riley Popp, a senior mechanical engineering major, thinks the name is beneficial for everyone.

“It accurately reflects the fact that the computer science program is also a part of it, which isn’t really an engineering discipline but (Quinnipiac) treats it as one,” Popp said. 

There will also be possible future expansion of master’s programs and online programs for degree completion. Currently, Quinnipiac has master’s degrees in business analytics, instructional design, cybersecurity and online interactive media and communications in the computing program.

Quinnipiac added a bachelor of arts in computer science in 2017 to allow students to double major in other areas they are interested in. It includes fewer science courses than a bachelor of science in computer science requires. 

“It reflects reality, but it also reflects the future and the fact that computing and computing-related programs are likely to grow more and that there’s incredible demand professionally for computing-related workforce and graduates,” Liebowitz said. 

Students interested in computing will have more flexibility and options when deciding courses because it will be easier to add courses like data science and game design. 

“Part of what we’re doing is not only growing the computing programs that are specifically in the School of Computing and Engineering, but also growing a computing ecosystem because computing-related skills are relevant to so many fields,” Liebowitz said. 

Along with improvements in the School of Computing and Engineering, there are other areas on campus that have been added to adjust to the growing computer science industry. 

An esports lab opened on Nov. 17, in the Rocky Top Student Center on the York Hill campus. Students can compete in gaming tournaments and have recreation time. The lab will also host academic classes, as stated on Quinnipiac’s website.  

The adjustment of the title of the school is one of the first steps of change for computing at Quinnipiac. 

“I’m excited about the direction that the school’s going in with this name change, and I think there are a lot of possibilities and opportunities for students,” Byers said.