Mechanical engineering welcomes director of online pedagogy and credentialing

Erin Cassidy Hendrick
September 16, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Andrea Gregg has joined the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) as the director of online pedagogy and credentialing and assistant teaching professor.

In this position, she will collaborate with faculty on teaching innovations, manage the instructional design of the online master’s degree in mechanical engineering and expand the micro-credentialing program to achieve greater impact.

Gregg has worked for more than 15 years in online education, most recently as an associate director of evaluation at Penn State World Campus, where she led strategic efforts focused on the retention of students. Prior to that, she managed a team of instructional designers and has worked on curriculums across multiple disciplines.

She plans to build on her experiences by acting as a partner for ME professors.

“For faculty, I’m here to help problem solve,” she said. “I’ll be an embedded person within the department who can support pedagogical enhancements in course design and teaching methods  in order to make a stronger impact with students.”

She also envisions a bright future for the micro-credentialing program. An ME initiative started in 2018, the program is an innovative opportunity for students to broaden their skill set and stand out to employers through intensive workshops and earn qualifying badges.

“There is a ton of potential here,” Gregg said. “If a student wants to specialize in a particular area of engineering or strengthen a skill, maybe a minor doesn’t exist yet. But these courses can be more agile and respond quickly.”

Currently, for the micro-credentialing workshops, industry partners are invited to share their expertise on various skillsets and technical areas, such as project management and value engineering.

“If we can bring someone in from industry to give a workshop, those students have an additional expertise they may have not earned within the traditional curriculum,” she said.

The trend is fairly new to academia, but it is one Gregg believes can have a demonstrable impact on the success of ME students.

“We are going to work on making our badges widely recognized,” she said. “It will be my job to make that happen.”

Gregg earned her doctorate in learning, design and technology from Penn State in 2016 and is excited to apply her knowledge to the ME department.

“There is a lot of support for innovation within the department. I’m so excited to help improve the classes and learning experiences,” she said. “Even having this position shows there is leadership and cultural support for innovation. We want to evolve the learning experience because it is our responsibility to the students.”

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Last Updated September 24, 2019