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Wentworth Earns ‘University’ Status

August 2, 2017

Wentworth Institute of Technology has received approval for “university” status from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. As required by the Code of the Massachusetts Regulations, the Institute has established graduate programs in four “distinct professional fields of study” and has demonstrated that it has “faculty, facilities, and resources necessary to support sound graduate programs.”

Over the last eight years, Wentworth has developed graduate programs in Design (Master of Architecture); Management (Master of Science in Construction Management, Master of Science in Facility Management, and Master of Science in Technology Management); Engineering (Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering); and Sciences (Master of Science in Applied Computer Science). The Institute has also been recognized as a university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report.

The Institute’s name will not change; it will remain as is—Wentworth Institute of Technology. The university designation will help the Institute expand its name recognition, and the value of the Wentworth degree will be enhanced as the Institute continues gaining regional and national visibility.

“The faculty and staff have done a tremendous job in developing our graduate programs,” said President Zorica Pantić. “The university designation strengthens our mission to educate and prepare our students for career success and engaged citizenship through our undergraduate programs and, now, graduate programs.”

She added that the graduate programs provide Wentworth’s alumni and other working professionals with the opportunity to come back to the Institute throughout their careers, expand and retool their knowledge, and continue to be successful.

The Institute’s trustees voted to move forward with university status in May, and the school received word of the state approval via a letter to Wentworth in July.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions that was compiled with feedback from students, faculty, and staff during a series of campus-wide meetings this spring to discuss university status.

Achievement of university status is one important step in a series of key transformations of the Institute. For instance, Wentworth broke ground on June 21 on a $55-million building for engineering, innovation, and sciences—the first new academic structure on campus in 45 years. Wentworth also recently renovated its aged library, transforming it into the modern, state-of-the-art Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons.

Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) About Wentworth’s New University Status 

Q. Is the name of the Institute going to change? 
A. NO. There will be no name change. Wentworth Institute of Technology has excellent name recognition, and it is a name that will stay.
 

Q. Will my tuition costs increase because of this change?
A. NO. There will be no tuition increase because of the university status; however, on an annual basis, the Institute assesses expenses and modifies the tuition accordingly.
 

Q. Will Wentworth Institute of Technology be referred to as a “university” in the generic sense?  
A.  YES.  On second reference and in other instances where we refer to Wentworth Institute of Technology in writing, we are allowed by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education to use “the university,” or “the Institute” or just “Wentworth.” However, because there is no name change, we should never say, “Wentworth University.” 
 

Q. Does this new status mean that the school’s mission or vision is changing? 
A. NO. Its mission remains the same: To empower, inspire, and innovate through experiential learning, thus, educating students for career success and engaged citizenship through our undergraduate and graduate programs. We are moving toward our vision to become nationally recognized as the university of choice for externally collaborative, project-based, interdisciplinary culture for learning (EPIC).
  

Q. Is the Institute’s brand identity changing? 
A. NO. Wentworth’s core brand identity will not change. Wentworth will still be depicted in the context of the “Five Factors of Career Success: Focused Academics, Cooperative Learning, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Collaboration and Partnerships, and Ideal Location.” The look and feel of the brand will not change. Messaging may shift slightly to emphasize the expansion of our graduate programs.  
 

Q. Will Wentworth’s small-campus feel change? 
A. NO. Wentworth values its small college environment, which includes personal attention by the faculty and a comfortable, intimate learning environment.
 

Q.  Does this mean that we are becoming a research university?
A. NO. Wentworth will remain focused on teaching, applied research, and students’ career preparation. Faculty will continue to pursue scholarly activities to bring this knowledge into the classrooms and labs.
 

Q. What is the advantage of Wentworth becoming a university? 
A. This new designation will help to raise our national visibility and recognition. When Wentworth established “sound” graduate programs and began offering master’s degrees in four distinct disciplines, the Institute met the requirements to apply to the state of Massachusetts for university status in 2016. In 2015 the Carnegie Foundation reclassified Wentworth from a baccalaureate college category to a master’s college/university category. As a result, in 2016, U.S. News & World Report placed Wentworth in the new category of Regional Universities (North). Previously, Wentworth was in the Regional Colleges (North) category.
 

Q. How did the university designation happen? 
A. To provide career success to our graduates, Wentworth developed graduate programs in four distinct areas: Design (Master of Architecture); Management (Master of Science in Construction Management, Master of Science in Facility Management, and Master of Science in Technology Management); Engineering (Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering); and Science (Master of Science in Applied Computer Science). This qualified Wentworth for university status as defined by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.
 

Q. If I am an alum of Wentworth Institute of Technology, will anything change for me because of the Institute’s earning university status? 
A. YES.  University status will help Wentworth expand its recognition, and the value of your degree will be enhanced as the Institute continues gaining regional and national visibility. Wentworth’s graduate-level offerings will provide our alumni and other working professionals with the opportunity to come back throughout their careers, expand and retool their knowledge, and continue to be successful.

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