URI programs give students a chance to flourish in various ways. Students learn how to do research, but also how to pick projects that will improve a societal problem and enhance the quality of life for a community of people. These programs are designed to help students develop the vision to contend with global challenges.
To teach students to think like that, a program must be inter-disciplinary, and URI programs do that by inviting students from all majors, such as design, engineering, business, humanities or science. The students form teams and pool their talents. These days, in both industry and academia, projects are done by teams. URI students divide into teams who are mentored by both NJIT professor and industry advisers. Working together, the teams try to find solutions to societal problems and to develop technologies to ameliorate those problems.
Higher education experts agree that the best experience an undergraduate can have is research. For it is research that allows student to apply the theory they learned in their classes and use their hands and minds to design, build, invent and engineer devices and processes that improve society.