Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Clearing Up The Numbers About The UNCG Nanoschool

On several occasions I have stated there are only 10 students enrolled in labs at the much touted UNCG  nanoschool at Gateway South. This morning I present you with a letter from a very respected source that corrects that:

"The projected need in the foundational documents requesting approval of a new degree estimated that steady state enrollment was the equivalent of 110 students:

(By the second year, the nanoscience PMS and Ph.D. projected student enrollment (40 PMS + 15 full time PhD + 8 part time PhD for full time equivalent)  of 59 students. By the third year the PMS would have reached steady state (graduates being replaced with new enrollment) for a flat 60 students forward. By the fourth year, the Ph.D. students would also reach steady state having already graduated any students who came in as transfers as well as graduating the first cohort and replacing with new enrollment for a flat 41 students full time equivalency (32 full time + 18 part-time or 9) or a grand total of 110 bodies with the equivalent for 101 in credit production.)

The actual enrollment in the Professional Science Masters over 5 years has been less than 10 with 2 graduating.

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Both the professional science masters and the technical science masters (which was not in the request to establish founding documents) have been used to warehouse students that are not qualified for the PhD program or as a parting gift for students who have enough credits but lacked competence to remain in the PhD program thereby padding the graduation vs drop out rate.
You and Sophie have used the 'less than ten students in labs' a couple of times. Please let me clarify. Those labs represent required survey in interdisciplinary research for first year students. First year students are required to enroll in 2 labs per semester (4 total in the first year). The low number of enrolled represents the inability of the faculty admissions committee to attract qualified students to either nanoscience degree programs despite the claim in the founding documents that this is an attractive degree program with potential for robust growth and necessary for the advancement of science. Notably, nanoengineering has not had that same difficulty.
The final enrollment in nanoscience introductory labs for spring is now 23

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It is difficult to extrapolate from this information how many of these are actually first year students and how many are continuing students that are padding their schedules to ensure that they have full time status and can receive state support for tuition and stipend or part time employment through Gateway. The 'less than 10' is actually just an estimate since with these numbers, it is unlikely that they have more than 10 qualified students in this cohort. A better indication may be this course

NAN 711-01 ExpCrs: Math Meth Nano II
which currently enrolls 15 students and was created as a two semester remedial math course for students that do not meet minimal admission standards or were considered likely to fail the math and/or physics portion of the qualifying exam."

End of letter.

In other words, the numbers remain pretty damned pathetic and nothing like what they were promised to be.