The Cardinal Evolution

January 21, 2022

Dr. Thomas M. Evans, UIW president, displays new technology in a classroomDigital technology is playing a role in education it never has before. Greater reliance on internet tools, a more significant need for access and wider opportunities for international connection have all emerged since the start of the pandemic. With the changing landscape of education experienced nation-wide in 2020, UIW has positioned itself as a dynamic and engaging academic institution.

High-Tech Classrooms

When students began filing into classrooms on the Broadway campus at the start of the Fall 2021 semester, many were greeted with major changes to their learning environment. Over the summer, UIW transformed 43 classrooms, auditoriums and other learning spaces into state-of-the-art facilities, with new technology to further enhance the learning experience. These educational evolutions allow teachers and students to interact in profound new ways.

Upgrades included items such as high-definition wireless projectors with high sensitivity microphones, interactive digital displays, cameras and upgraded yet simplified control components. The $1.6 million upgrade is considered the first phase of an investment that will cover all campuses at UIW.

Four students smile for the cameraStudents can participate in a fully interactive manner, whether they are attending in person or in a virtual setting. This allows the University to utilize both a hybrid instruction (in-person and online) model and UIW Global Online, expanding class sizes virtually and providing opportunities for learning around the globe.

“All tiers were designed to support full multi-modal instruction from completely in-person dynamic instruction to a full range of hybrid/hi-flex instruction options,” said Neil Schroeder, UIW chief information officer. “While the room types provided a basic standard, there was very careful deliberation with deans and faculty to not only identify the ideal rooms but specifically dial in each room’s exact setup with faculty feedback.”

Bringing UIW to the World

Even though travel was halted during the worst of the pandemic, technology enabled students to access education from institutions all over the world. Programs emerged opening the digital doors of universities to learners who could not otherwise travel to distant campuses. UIW Global Online is just that kind of program. Using upgraded UIW entrance sign in Mexicotechnology, it provides U.S. degree programs to the students in Latin America who wish to expand their knowledge, skills, education and professional experience with a global perspective. By leveraging the University’s IT infrastructure and the expertise of its staff both in the U.S. and Mexico, Global Online is advancing UIW’s educational Mission throughout Latin America.

Inspired by the UIW Vision Statement, members of many departments throughout UIW and the University’s two locations in Mexico, Centro Universitario Incarnate Word in Mexico City and Incarnate Word Campus Bajio in Irapuato, Mexico, came together to create what is now UIW Global Online. In roughly four-months’ time and amid pandemic restrictions, these groups developed, promoted and launched a new educational model designed to shape international leaders.

Two students smile at the cameraThe first cohort of 18 Global Online students enrolled in two master’s programs this fall semester. Ten students began the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program, while eight began the Master in Education (MEd) program. Students currently enrolled in the program are from Mexico, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

Marcos Fragoso, vice-president of International Affairs and Brian Pirtima, Global Online program coordinator, contributed to the Global Online report.