Betsy DeVos Visits Georgia Tech

Ed Botchwey, Petit Institute researcher and associate professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, keeps the rapid fire session going.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Georgia Tech Wednesday as part of this year’s “Rethink School” tour. 

DeVos is travelling to stress the importance of rethinking education in order to improve outcomes for students. Over a couple of hours, President G.P. “Bud” Peterson and others described how Georgia Tech is making college more accessible while also helping more students succeed. 

DeVos noted that the Institute is “meeting the needs of students today and tomorrow and really changing to meet those needs in very innovative ways.” 

“It is fascinating and I hope that what they have done is replicated far and wide in unique ways to each situation,” she told reporters after the event.   

Officials highlighted the Georgia Tech Promise Program, which allows academically qualified students with demonstrated financial need to earn a degree debt-free. They also shared details about special initiatives, such as the Georgia Tech Scholars Program, which offers automatic acceptance to valedictorians and salutatorians from Georgia public and private high schools with 50 or more graduates.

In addiiton, DeVos heard about Tech programs designed to expose students to entrepreneurship and help them launch successful startups. These programs include the InVenture Prize, the K-12 InVenture Prize and CREATE-X

Officials then reviewed Georgia Tech’s three online master’s degree programs, which allow students to earn degrees exclusively through the "massive online" format and for a fraction of the standard cost.

The first was the groundbreaking Online Master of Science in Computer Science program, which launched in 2014 and enrolls about 10,000 students. Last year Georgia Tech started the Online Master of Science in Analytics and in January will offer the new Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity, aimed at addressing a severe global workforce shortage in the field.

As part of its K-12 outreach, Georgia Tech explained the GIFT (Georgia Intern Fellowship for Teachers) program, which provides paid summer internships in industry workplaces and university laboratories for science, mathematics and technology teachers. Teachers gain "real world" applications of the subjects they teach and increase their content knowledge.

DeVos later had lunch with students from Project ENGAGES (Engaging New Generations at Georgia Tech through Engineering and Science). Through this program Georgia Tech works with six Atlanta public high schools to expose underrepresented students to research and career paths in engineering and science. 

DeVos and Federal Student Aid’s Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Wayne Johnson also demonstrated the newly launched myStudentAid mobile application.

Todd Sulchek
News Contact

Laura Diamond

Institute Communications