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U. Massachusetts launches expanded online school system

The University of Massachusetts last week announced that it’s taken control of Brandman University, a California-based network of schools for adult learners, and will rebrand it as UMass Global, with plans to expand its online education offerings. The acquisition came after the end of a year-long partnership between UMass and Brandman’s former parent, Chapman University, according to a press release. Brandman serves about 22,000 students spread across 25 locations and online as part of Chapman University, according to its website. The plan is for Brandman University’s name to change to UMass Global later in 2021, though its administrative leadership, faculty, staff and current programming will remain in place. Emily Bamforth has the details.

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Sacred Heart U. graduate students try virtual therapy

Sacred Heart University is offering more than 1,250 graduate students free virtual or texting sessions with a counselor, beginning this fall. The Fairfield, Connecticut, university is using Uwill, a teletherapy platform on which students and providers create online profiles and are matched through machine learning. Students can also choose providers based on the problems they’re facing, like depression or stress-management. Then, users communicate with counselors through virtual sessions or texting. Emily has it.

Auburn U. researchers use robotic dogs to scan construction zones

Auburn University is using a robotic dog, Mac, to explore the role of autonomous robots in construction and building science, an industry that assistant professor Eric Wetzel says is under-recognized for using cutting-edge technology. Wetzel told EdScoop that after the robot’s arrival to the Alabama university in March, researchers quickly started using it on job sites. The four-legged robot, controlled by a handheld device, can scan the inside of a building with lasers to create a 3D model, as well as take panoramic photos. That data is uploaded to the control device or stored on the robot in a memory card. Check out the full story on Edscoop.

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