Hands-on Experiences

May 11, 2020
Prabhat Hajela, Provost

As we come to the close of the academic year at Rensselaer, I want to thank all students and faculty for their perseverance, adaptability, and creativity in making this very challenging semester a success. From everything I have heard to date, the move to online classes went quite well. I encourage additional feedback, and remind students to complete course evaluations, to help us continue to improve in this area, and our educational mission in general. 

Likewise, I appreciate the adaptivity and creativity of everyone in adopting new approaches to provide a virtual experience of hands-on activities that occur in our labs and design studios. I have heard of many creative solutions from each of our five schools. These took considerable effort to develop and implement in a short time and I am grateful to the faculty for their commitment in this regard. As we transition to the future when we return to normal operations on campus, I know that many of these innovations will continue to be used in our classes for the learning experience they provided. 

When we resume in-person instruction, I strongly encourage our students to seek out independent and team study projects and undergraduate research opportunities across the schools. This will help you reintegrate into the campus community and open opportunities to be part of the many hands-on learning experiences. For those who wish to sharpen laboratory skills, I would ask that you seek faculty assistance to design and execute in-lab experiments related to your remote learning experience. These will only be possible when teaching and research labs return to normal operations and can include experiments directly related to your course content or, preferably, experiences that will further augment and build on that learning. Subject to the availability of facilities and instructors, we will endeavor to arrange for such opportunities for any interested students.

Finally, let me take this opportunity to congratulate our graduating class as you complete the academic requirements for your program of study and look to enter a new phase in your lives. Our best wishes are with you as you chart your future! 


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