Bigger-picture training for industry leaders
July 19, 2016
A new interdisciplinary master’s program at Queen’s wants to take professionals already working in the energy and minerals/mining sectors and zoom them out to see the bigger picture.
“The working environment for those in oil and gas, and minerals and mining, has increased in complexity, and leaders in those fields need to have a solid understanding earlier in their careers of all the interconnections playing out,” says Ione Taylor, Executive Director of the program.
The Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership, which is accepting students for the January 2017 start, is an 80 per cent online, 20 per cent residential program that allows professionals to keep working as they complete the degree.
“This is a very exciting program that integrates many different components, from examining the resource life cycle, with its fundamental earth science and engineering aspects, to the economic and business side, and the legal, policy, regulatory and ethical considerations of working in these industries,” says Jean Hutchinson, Professor and Department Head for Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering.
An important facet of the program is its broad range of faculty members and instructors. The program draws from the Faculty of Law, Smith School of Business, Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Political Science, and Economics, as well as external industry leaders.
“Many people working in these fields recognize that having an undergraduate degree is not enough going into the future – they need more sophisticated analytical skills, to deal with a changing environment that demands they have an understanding of human rights and environmental issues, on top of earth systems science and business knowledge,” says Dr. Taylor, who came to Queen’s from the petroleum industry and the U.S. Geological Survey to lead, and teach in, the program. “This program will help shape the next generation of leadership in these fields – people who will help Canada and the world move forward in a sustainable way.”
Students can study in the program on a part-time basis and will complete the master’s in 20 months, ideally.
“This program sets a new standard for course design at the graduate level and exemplifies Queen’s mission to provide innovative, interdisciplinary programs that offer students flexibility and both on-campus and online components,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and its staff have been integral to this program’s launch and in making it a dynamic and fluid learning experience for students.”
The CTL worked with faculty and program staff to take input from an extensive external market survey and shape it into an innovative curriculum, which effectively addresses the skill and competency development needs identified in the survey as priorities for the program.
In addition, Continuing and Distance Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Science provided instructional designers and developers, who are experts at online and blended delivery programs, to guide faculty in creating the online format for the courses offered in the program.