By USU Online | November 12, 2019


- Academic & Instructional Services


Utah State University held an open house dinner event Monday, November 4, at USU Brigham City to celebrate the first-ever cohort of the online Associate in General Studies that uses a competency-based education (CBE) teaching model. The cohort is made up entirely of Northrop Grumman employees who have leveraged the partnership to advance their careers through education.

This pilot program launched fall 2019 through a collaborative effort involving USU Online, the Center for Innovative Design & Instruction, the Applied Sciences, Technology & Education department, USU Brigham City, USU Kaysville, USU Tremonton, and the Northrop Grumman Corporation. During the event, the students met with advisors, learned about the resources available as USU students, met math and writing tutors, and learned tips to be more effective online students.

We've built advantageous collaborations and efficiencies within USU that will enhance our workforce partnerships and the online student experience in the long-term.

It is the first program of its kind at Utah State University, wherein students can show mastery of professional competence and complete courses any time within a 14-week semester. The increased flexibility and reliance on previous work and life experience make it extremely advantageous for adult learners, particularly working professionals.

USU Online intends to further expand its partnership efforts to other corporations, as well as academic and governmental organizations passionate about developing their workforce through high-quality online college education.

"In the process of developing the CBE pilot, we've built advantageous collaborations and efficiencies within USU that will benefit our working relationships and the online student experience in the long-term,” said Rene Eborn, special assistant to the vice president for strategic initiatives and USU Online. “We are grateful to partner with a corporation as sincerely involved in their employees' success as Northrop Grumman, and we look forward to continue learning and perfecting our methods of delivering online workforce development solutions."

There are 30 students currently enrolled, all of whom are employed with Northrop Grumman, an American global aerospace and defense technology company that employs more than 4,500 employees in 13 locations across Utah. USU Online has been working closely with Northrop Grumman for over a year developing this program, which emphasizes technology systems topics and knowledge-building.

For more information, contact Anca Matcovschi at 435-797-3296 or

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