New College at Frisco

Written by: 
Ernestine Bousquet

UNT New College at FriscoA hub of corporate headquarters, Fortune 1000 companies and thriving startups, the North Texas region has one of the largest, most vibrant economies in the world and is a corporate powerhouse.

Collin County and Frisco are at the heart of this economic boom, as one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation and the state. To meet industry needs and keep pace with the demands of this rapidly growing area, UNT will open an off-site instructional facility in Frisco in January 2016 called the University of North Texas New College at Frisco.

Strategically located at Hall Office Park, near the intersection of Dallas North Tollway and Sam Rayburn Tollway, UNT's New College will offer programs and classes that give students and working professionals the business, communication and technology skills they need for success. There will be a mix of disciplines represented, collaborating to offer classes and programs built to suit the corporate world. The New College will be a collaborative laboratory that meshes traditional learning and hands-on experience in dynamic ways.

Because of its proximity to some of the world's top companies, such as Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Frito-Lay and the soon-to-be relocated headquarters for Toyota's U.S. operations, the campus will focus on industry collaboration, partnerships and engagement.

"We're building something different at UNT's New College at Frisco," President Neal Smatresk says. "We're taking our creative core and adding a technology backbone to help our students become superior competitors. In doing so, we're narrowing the gap between the high-tech and corporate worlds and higher education."

Providing essential career skills

The campus will cater to working professionals and college-age students, as well as the Fortune 1000 companies that are located in Collin County and beyond. There also will be courses for middle and high school students focused on technology, STEM fields and college readiness, as well as courses for lifelong learners. The curriculum for all of the programs and classes will have three essential ingredients -- a technology component, a communication component and an industry experience component -- to give students and participants core skills for any industry.

UNT's New College is starting small, offering classes for current students and professional development courses for working professionals in the spring 2016 semester. By fall 2016, the campus will offer degree program courses, certifications and professional development. It will eventually focus in areas such as big data analytics, cybersecurity, gaming and sports media and management to reflect the growth industries in Collin County.

Catering to industry

In preparing for the launch of the New College, Brenda Sims, director, and other UNT leaders talked to numerous industry and corporate leaders about what their employees need to excel so that UNT could best tailor classes and programs accordingly.

Corporate leaders said that they wanted employees who are not only knowledgeable in their fields, but who also have business acumen, are tech savvy and can communicate well. That is what the New College will deliver, Sims says.

"The New College will offer students an innovative education centered on workforce development," Sims says. "Students learn from high-quality faculty and industry professionals. The classes will integrate technology, communication and industry experience so students gain knowledge and hands-on experience. And they will have opportunities to engage with some of the world's leading companies."

Engaging community

Because professional development is a core component of the initiative, there also will be boot camps, certification programs and continuing education in areas such as social media strategy, big data analytics and visualization analytics.

As the college grows, so will the opportunities. Through this strategic initiative, UNT will partner with companies in Collin County and beyond to provide unique learning opportunities.

Finley Graves, provost and vice president for academic affairs, says the New College will not replicate the Denton campus or its degree programs. The programs at the New College will be a mixture of disciplines, which will give students a broad set of skills for a competitive edge. Academic excellence and quality will drive progress, as it does in all of UNT's programs.

"We're breaking the academic mold at the New College by building uniquely tailored, highly relevant programs that will create savvy workforce leaders," Graves says.

Academic Classes for Spring 2016

Classes will be offered for current students in these areas:

  • Communication studies
  • Criminal justice
  • Decision sciences 
  • Digital retailing
  • Finance
  • Journalism
  • Recreation, parks and leisure
  • Technical communication

Professional Development Programs for Spring 2016

  • Investments/General Securities Training Program for Series 7 exam prepares those without a finance background for careers as financial advisors and for the general securities licensing exam. Jan. 19-May 13
  • Executive Social Media Seminar with Certificate for business owners and executives who want to learn more about using social media platforms to build their business. Feb. 19-20
  • Social Media Strategist Seminar with Certificate for social media professionals, owners and managers who want to improve the productivity of their businesses and develop greater expertise. Feb. 27-April 23
  • Assessing Walkway Safety Certificate for construction professionals working with industrial safety, building safety, risk assessment, building management, incident investigation and safety program auditing. March 15-17

Learn more about UNT's New College at Frisco and spring offerings.