The University of Central Florida has launched 11 new graduate programs in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programs, which begin in the Fall 2020 semester, offer candidates a short series of courses that were specifically woven together to provide useful tools when facing COVID-19 related-challenges. The certificates, tracks and special topics courses cover a variety of fields from business and engineering to optics and health.

“At a time when COVID-19 is reinventing how we do everything from how we work to how we play, employees and employers are looking for skills and resources to meet the unexpected challenges,” says Elizabeth Klonoff, vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “We created these certificates and tracks in hopes of providing employees or those out of work, the skills and insight that will make them even more valuable to employers who must figure out how to get their business done despite the circumstances.”

“We created these certificates and tracks in hopes of providing employees or those out of work, the skills and insight that will make them even more valuable to employers who must figure out how to get their business done despite the circumstances.”

For example, the cyber risk management graduate certificate — which will also be available through UCF Online — looks at the current cybersecurity and privacy matters affecting organizations and emphasizes managerial and risk-based approaches. Quarantines due to COVID-19 means more people are shopping and conducting work from home, thus driving demand for remote connections that increase security and privacy concerns for employers and employees.

The College of Health Professions and Sciences added a course to its graduate clinical speech pathology program geared toward preparing clinical professionals to meet the complex needs of patients hospitalized from COVID-19 and other related conditions.

Registration is now open and closes Aug. 1.

Additional certificates and tracks available are:

UCF Online

FinTech is the use of technology to innovate, improve and facilitate the delivery of traditional financial services. The objective of the FinTech certificate is to introduce students to the foundations of FinTech and employable technical skills including artificial intelligence and the development of algorithms.

College of Engineering and Computer Science
UCF Online: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

These tracks are designed to prepare students for careers as engineers in the aerospace industry. The curriculum for each track includes a strong emphasis in courses related to guidance control and dynamics with applications in aerospace engineering.

College of Engineering and Computer Science

UCF Online

Data analytics seeks to infer insights from large amounts of data (“big data”) by using various computer science techniques and statistical algorithms. Data analytics is concerned with both computational techniques for managing data and resources efficiently and statistical techniques that measure the validity of such insights. There is a current and growing need for employees with advanced technical skills in these areas, prompted by the increasing ability of organizations to collect data. This graduate certificate intends to train people to develop algorithms and computerized systems to facilitate the discovery of information from big data. The graduate certificate program will emphasize the technical aspects of big data analytics, including machine learning, algorithm design, data acquisition, management, mining, and analysis.

College of Engineering and Computer Science

This program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that will prepare engineers and professionals to undertake advanced engineering or research efforts in the interdisciplinary areas of smart and connected communities and cyber-physical systems.

The certificate is designed to provide working professionals with knowledge and training in applied photonics to enhance their career opportunities while meeting their current responsibilities. The target participants are scientists and engineers in the aerospace, defense, photonic systems, fiber optics communication industries, and in related government research laboratories. The program complements their technical backgrounds in science and engineering with the basic principles and applications of photonics engineering in fiber communication systems, lasers, medicine, and aerospace and defense photonics.

College of Optics and Photonics

The certificate is designed to provide working professionals with knowledge and training in optical imaging systems to enhance their career opportunities and meet their current responsibilities. The program complements their technical backgrounds in science and engineering with the basic principles and applications of optical engineering in imaging, electro-optic systems, radiometry, and optical system design.

UCF Online

The certificate is designed for students to gain knowledge of mathematical modeling and master practical techniques for careers in data analysis, data architecture, and data engineering.

College of Sciences
UCF Online

The financial mathematics certificate will be offered to meet the high demand from the financial industry and financial data analysis. The certificate is designed for students to gain knowledge of mathematical finance and to pursue careers in the financial services industry, the field of financial data analysis or a regulatory agency. This certificate mainly targets those students who may or may not have had financial industry experience but need to learn updated working knowledge and skills in financial mathematics.

College of Sciences

UCF Online

The graduate certificate in research smarts provides students with the essential skills and critical thinking needed by today’s consumers of news and information. The certificate will teach students how to use data analysis strategies and understand research methods to base knowledge on empirical findings. Increasing one’s research smarts will provide students with the practical skills and critical thinking necessary to produce and to consume findings, facts, and information with the assurance that it was arrived at systematically. These skills are not only useful in daily life, as we wade through the mass of news and information that comes our way, but also in private business, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and other employment opportunities.  Students seeking employment, those with jobs currently, or those working toward advancement can benefit from a critical examination of how knowledge is gained, and which sources of information can be trusted.

 

UCF also launched four other certificate programs that were approved earlier in the year and will also begin in the fall:

College of Community Innovation and Education

Students will learn strategies for managing and resolving interpersonal and community conflicts, which are essential in the community and workplace. This certificate will be attractive to students planning to attend law school, legal professionals, social workers, law enforcement, businesses and educators, to name a few.

College of Community Innovation and Education

Students will obtain a theoretical background in social justice, exploring topics such as human rights, income distribution and the role of markets. Students will understand factors that contribute to inequity among various groups, with a focus on providing a theoretical background and methods to analyze social justice issues in public service. They will understand the principles of social justice as they apply to the government and nonprofit sector in education, health, transportation and housing policy domains, among others.

College of Community Innovation and Education

This certificate provides advanced coursework for educational leaders to use school-based and classroom instructional data to meet the instructional and intervention needs of all students, including at-risk and struggling students, beyond typical initial classroom instruction within a multi-tiered system of supports. In addition, this certificate will provide an advanced, multi-disciplinary theoretical approach and applied knowledge base to experienced educators.

College of Engineering and Computer Science

The graduate certificate in mixed reality engineering aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of virtual and augmented reality technologies culminating in the development of a mixed reality software application or system.