Mechatronics Anyone? NEBHE Program Adds 27 New Majors at a Tuition Discount

Robotics-472355581Advanced manufacturing, an industry with strong growth potential in New England, currently faces a shortage of talent. In response some of the region’s colleges and universities have developed cutting-edge programs to prepare qualified graduates.

Central Connecticut State University’s new bachelor’s degree program in Robotics and Mechatronics is one example, and it is unique among New England public colleges. (Mechatronics, for those not in the know, is the combination of mechanical engineering, computing and electronics, as used in the design and development of new manufacturing techniques.)

Because it is unique, residents of the five other New England states who enroll in CCSU’s program will be charged a special “regional” tuition rate, instead of the much higher out-of-state tuition rate—thanks to the NEBHE’s Regional Student Program (RSP), Tuition Break.

CCSU’s high-tech program follows a trend of similar programs started in recent years by New England community colleges—like Robotics at Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts and NHTI-Concord’s Community College in New Hampshire; Mechatronics at Quinsigamond Community College in Massachusetts; Integrated Manufacturing and Precision Manufacturing Technology at Asnuntuck Community College and Naugatuck Community College in Connecticut as well as Nashua Community College in New Hampshire, Northern Maine Community College and Southern Maine Community College. All of them are offered through the RSP Tuition Break.

Specialized programs,  in STEM and other fields

The RSP Tuition Break provides New England residents with affordable access to specialized degree programs—in all areas of study, not only technology—at out-of-state public colleges within the region. Instead of being charged the regular out-of-state tuition rate, eligible students are charged a lower, regional (RSP) tuition rate.

In all, more than 750 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered by New England public colleges and universities under the RSP. Eligibility under the RSP depends on whether the student’s home state’s public colleges offer their program of choice. Eligibility in each state is determined through an annual program review. Students are also eligible for additional programs in some cases under proximity—when they live closer to an out-of-state college than to an in-state college.

This year’s review culminated in the approval of 27 additional new programs for the RSP effective for Fall 2015. Programs in the area of sustainability and (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) STEM fields include: Associate degree programs in Energy Utility Technology and STEM Studies; Bachelor’s degree programs in Actuarial Science, Community Health and Wellness, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Food Safety, Green Building Design, Landscape Design and Sustainable Horticulture, Renewable Energy, Robotics and Mechatronics, Sustainable Food and Farming, and Sustainable Land Use. Graduate programs in Bioinformatics, Direct-Entry Nurse Practitioner, Direct-Entry Family Psychiatric Nursing, Engineering and Business, and Forestry.

Other newly approved programs include: Bachelor’s degree programs in Community Development, German, Interactive Media, Linguistics Speech and Language Science; and Graduate programs in Digital Media and Design, Human Resource Management, and Education Specialist programs in Elementary Math Specialist, International Education, School Counselor Education and Social Justice Education.

New RSP programs: offering institutions and eligible states

New associate programs:

New bachelor’s programs:

New graduate programs:


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