Overcoming Data Science Faculty Shortage Via Curricular Partnerships

Concurrent Session 2

Brief Abstract

Data science is increasingly applied to interdisciplinary degrees and majors. Teaching these skills can be difficult when the talent is scarce. One solution is curricular partnerships that include expert instructors, SME’s, and TA’s.


Peter Bruce is Founder and Chief Academic Officer of The Institute for Statistics Education at Statistics.com. He is the developer of Resampling Stats software (originated by Julian Simon in the 1970's), and has also taught resampling statistics at the University of Maryland and in a variety of short courses. He is the author of "Data Mining for Business Analytics", with Galit Shmueli and Nitin R. Patel (Wiley, 3rd ed. 2016; JMP version 2017, R version 2018, Python version 2019), "Introductory Statistics and Analytics" (Wiley, 2015), and "Statistics for Data Scientists", with Andrew Bruce, (O'Reilly 2016). He serves on the American Statistical Association's Advisory Committee on Professional Development, and is a Series Editor for Cambridge Press.
Jeff currently serves as the Assistant Provost for Learning Outcomes at Thomas Edison State University and is responsible for all aspects of institutional and programmatic student learning outcomes assessment efforts. Additionally, Jeff serves as the University's Accreditation Liaison Officer for Middle States and the University's IRB Chair. Jeff also currently serves as a public member on the specialized accreditation board of the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), a recognized accreditor, and has been with the commission for 8 years in this capacity. He has also taught as an Associate Professor at Ocean County College and Associate Professor of Business at Amridge University. In his past roles, Jeff served as the Associate Vice President of e-Learning and Learning Enterprises at Ocean County College where he managed the operations of all distance learning initiatives, online program development, course development, national marketing and recruitment and retention. Additionally, at Ocean County College Jeff was responsible for both domestic and international partnerships. Jeff was also Executive Director of the Commission on Marriage and Family Therapy Education, another recognized accrediting agency and served as a private educational consultant to several accrediting agencies in the areas of standards revision and outcomes assessment. While working for the for-profit software company, TaskStream, he assisted over 90 institutions of higher education in their efforts at designing, implementing, and maintaining institution-wide learning outcomes assessment and institutional effectiveness systems. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Rowan University, pursuing a degree in the area of educational leadership. His research is focused on silo deconstruction relative to the use of assessment results.

Extended Abstract

Data Science and analytics are hot educational topics. Data science is increasingly applied to interdisciplinary verticals, in government, and in academia. We see researchers using machine learning to address childhood disease in developing countries, applying deep learning to understand religious violence, and building neural networks to enhance cybersecurity at global financial institutions… Teaching these skills can be difficult when the talent is scarce.

One solution is curricular partnerships that include expert instructors, SME’s, and TA’s, shared among multiple institutions in a proven model that provides high quality student completion and satisfaction ratings. Representatives from the Institute for Statistics Education at Statistics.com will describe how dedicated online TA’s support its independent instructors to offer programs that can be articulated or white labeled and distributed through higher educational institutions that lack the capacity to quickly stand up a data science program themselves. The Institute speaker will also review how this process supports the engagement of top experts in the field, including many published textbook authors, as instructors.

Learning objectives - after taking this workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the structure and growth of the data science and analytics education market
  2. Decide which aspects of data science education (programming, analytics, IT, etc.) are most suitable for the educational market they serve
  3. Recognize the role that data-centered projects play in data science education
  4. Combine expert instructors with highly qualified TA’s to deliver top quality online instruction
  5. Take steps to build their own data science education program using outsourced instructional resources