KSU Salina Launches New Degree Option

Industry demand for workers skilled in machine learning and autonomous systems is behind the newest bachelor’s degree option from Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus. This program is one of just a few offered in the United States and the only one in Kansas.

Autonomous systems and machine learning involve letting an application learn and improve from data and experience without being programmed to do so. These systems, which can work with minimal to no human contact, include digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, website recommendation systems and self-driving vehicles.

“This new degree option in machine learning and autonomous systems was developed to support advanced industry demands,” said Michael Pritchard, assistant professor in the integrated studies department and chair of the machine learning and autonomous systems program.

“The need for a trained workforce with autonomous systems development skills is growing at a rapid pace, and at K-State Salina, we aim to meet this demand,” Pritchard said. “The new degree option is unique within the region as well as the nation.”

The machine learning and autonomous systems program at K-State Salina teaches students the fundamentals of technology in predicting, planning and sensing the environment to enhance health care, workplace safety, transportation, space exploration and aspects of daily life. Throughout the program, students will learn skills to create autonomous systems that collaborate with humans through the use of modern programming languages. In addition, the program will equip students with transferrable skills such as systems development, statistics, and data analytics techniques. The program can be completed entirely online or through a hybrid of online and on-campus courses.

“K-State Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus continues to support industry by providing education and the skills needed to be at the forefront of technology,” said Alysia Starkey, CEO and dean. “This degree allows us to diversify our curriculum to support manned, unmanned and advanced manufacturing needs as we continue to build our global aerospace presence.”