Dear WPI Community,
As you may have heard, following a vote of its Board of Trustees, Becker College has announced that it will end instruction at the end of the academic year. While we all know that these past several years have been a challenging time for higher education, it’s especially difficult when a college that’s closing is our neighbor—and their students, faculty, staff, and alumni are our colleagues and friends.
In the true spirit of academia, many area colleges and universities have stepped in to offer help, including WPI. In fact, we have a distinctive way to help, in that we can provide a pathway forward for displaced students within Becker’s highly ranked Interactive Media programs through WPI’s longstanding Interactive Media and Game Development (IMGD) program. WPI and Becker have signed an agreement that provides these students an opportunity to complete their degrees at WPI. Specifically, this means:
- WPI has offered to admit Becker’s rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic standing within the Interactive Media programs—including Game Art, Game Design, Game Development & Programming, Game Audio, and Game Production & Management—into the degree program for WPI’s BA in Interactive Media & Game Development (IMGD). Other colleges have stepped up to offer pathways for these Becker students as well.
- As required by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, we have mapped a curriculum pathway for these students. These will be simple transfers for any students in the Interactive Media programs who wish to enroll at WPI, and WPI will provide essential academic advising and support.
Students in other Becker majors will be welcomed to apply to transfer to WPI through our standard application process and deadlines.
The WPI website to help Becker students navigate their path forward is here.
WPI may also offer positions to Becker faculty and staff in the Interactive Media programs to help support the growth in programs at WPI. WPI is also working with those leading MassDiGI, the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute, which we have proposed be housed at WPI. Mass DiGI focuses on entrepreneurship, academic cooperation, and economic development across the Massachusetts games ecosystem.
As more information becomes available, we will keep you updated.
WPI has been focused on building strength in the gaming area since 2004 when we launched one of the nation's first undergraduate degree programs, and over the years ours has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top majors for game design in the country. We have continued to invest in IMGD, launching a master of science degree in 2011 and more recently developing a robust art curriculum with the university’s first MFA.
Becker has been a leader in game design for more than a decade, and their program is ranked #2 in the nation. Should they choose to join us, Becker faculty and students will bring talent and expertise to WPI and IMGD.
Collaboration with the Becker community is nothing new for us; students and faculty from our IMGD program and Becker’s game program already work and develop games together, most notably on MassDiGI projects and co-hosting International Game Developers Association (IGDA) events. As is the case whenever there is an addition to a family, we will work towards managing the change for the WPI faculty and for students already enrolled at WPI—although, I’m delighted to report, I’ve heard that our students have been unofficially encouraging their peers at Becker to join the Herd. The goal, as always, is to create an effective and meaningful experience for all.
I am confident we are doing the right thing for our current students, those we will welcome from Becker—and for our larger community. WPI is filled with brilliant and kind problem-solvers who now have an opportunity to help our neighbor solve an important real-world problem. I thank you for your support and collaboration as we move forward together.