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Higher Education

"The foundation of every state is the education of its youth."
-Diogenes Laertius.

Higher learning is Washtenaw County's main industry, with the University Of Michigan (U-M) and Eastern Michigan University (EMU) acting as the region's two towers of innovation and inspiration. With combined student populations of nearly 64,000 and funding that approaches $1 billion each year, it is impossible to under sell the importance of these two great institutions.

Eastern Michigan University is renown for its College of Education, producing entire generations of teachers and educators to every state in the country. The university's budget was nearly $265 million last year, providing 23, 000 students with a first rate education.

Since its founding in 1849, EMU has produced 130, 000 alumni, many of whom remain in Michigan. Its College of Business was designated by Princeton Review as one of the nationís 143 most outstanding business schools and the universty, in general, has been lauded for its commitment to diversity and multiculturalism. EMU is also ranked as one of the 100 best schools for the Lesbian/Gay/B-Sexual/Transgender community.

The University of Michigan tops nearly every ranking there is with regard to academic achievement, excellence, and influence. Sitting on a $5.65 billion endowment and research funded to the tune of $823 million last year, it is an academic and economic powerhouse. The university's nearly 41, 000 students (and 420, 000 living alumni) have landed it third and among the nation's public universities, according to USNews And World Report. The list of notable and influential people who have attended UiM is both vast and wide, covering everything from theater and literature to engineering and life sciences. It's sports teams are renown and its pioneering impact on technology is recognized the world over.

Economically, U-M's technology transfer office has been vital conduit between laboratory research and corporate commercialization interests, inspiring both important technological innovations and ground-breaking start-ups.

The University of Michigan's Health System is considered one of the nationís leading medical and research institutions, consitently ranking among the best in the world in nearly every category, attracting the tenth highest total in research funding from the National Institutes of Health ($265 million, annually) and producing world class researchers and physicians.

And, finally, let's not forget Washtenaw Community College which serves almost 20,000 credit students and 8,000 non-credit students annually. It's well-respected for its continuing education courses as well as the nearly 1,400 degrees it hands out each year and is a vital extended choice educational institution, attracting a surprisingly ambitious and impressive faculty.


L to R Ryan Dixon and Jack Bidlack at the Digital Inclusion store at EMU

Digital Inclusion: From classroom to pop-up

A program at EMU not only aims to teach low-income and at-risk area youth how to repair computers, but how to sell the fruits of their labors at a retail pop up. It's the best kind of entrepreneurial education, learning by both book and by practice.

Joy Pehlke meets with Lindsay Miller at Wolverine Wellness

Wolverine Wellness Innovatives Student Health and Well-being

While debates about how best to deliver healthcare in the United States rage on, conversations about our health and well-being have spread into every corner of society. Inspired by that discussion, U-M has launched an innovative new approach to student health by offering holistic programs that employ coaching, education and therapy as a path toward better living.

Susan Crabb front row center with some U of M Masters of Social Work students

U-M's School of Social Work: Not Just an Ivory Tower

More than just a well-respected educational institution, U-M's School of Social Work assigns hundreds of students to work for and with nonprofits throughout Washtenaw County. Those students have become a uniquely powerful community asset, offering much-needed support to local organizations and acting as ambassadors for new ideas and strategies.

U of M Makeathon organizers at the Ross School of Business

Maker Madness

A group of U-M students are redefining what it means to build something from scratch. The first Makeathon launches later this month, where teams of students from U-M and the College for Creative Studies must develop and fabricate a physical prototype in 36 hours. Luckily they have the resources of Detroit's TechShop at their disposal.

Rishi Moudgil

Guest Blogger: Rishi Moudgil

We've all heard of venture funding, but how about social funding? Governments, businesses, and non-profits are starting to shake hands on these kinds of deals and projects. More on this from Rishi Moudgil, director of U-M's Nonprofit and Public Management Center.
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Aernnova Lands In Ann Arbor

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Imagine, not paying for gas. Ever. U-M's Solar Car Team brings together engineering, business and design school majors to develop the ultimate sustainable vehicle. How successful have they been? The team has taken home top honors at the North American Solar Challenge for the last five years!
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