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ETSU may offer engineering program

By David Floyd
On March 2, 2014

ETSU may soon offer a Bachelor of Science in engineering.
A proposal authored by Bert Bach, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at ETSU, aims to provide the degree in conjunction with Tennessee Tech.
"The outcome for this region will be that students wanting to pursue an engineering degree will be now able to do so here in East Tennessee," said Jeremy Ross, associate vice president for university advancement at ETSU and an assistant professor in the engineering technology program. "Also, employers that have the need for engineers will now have a program in the area supporting their workforce."
Instead of building an entire program from scratch, ETSU has decided to pool resources with Tennessee Tech.
These will come in the form of classes and professors. ETSU will contribute the proficiency of their nursing program in exchange for the expertise of Tennessee Tech's engineering department.
To accommodate, courses will be provided both online and in the classroom. Students at both universities will be exposed to similar material and course structure.
The program will include three concentrations - general engineering, construction management and engineering management - and will eventually host an estimated 60-70 students.
ETSU's decision to create this degree originated from a summer visioning program called ETSU 125 that included representatives from local businesses and educators. The program gathered information from several roundtables: faculty and staff, students and employers.
"When we asked employers, 'What should we be doing at ETSU that we're not doing currently?'" Ross said. "Engineering was a common answer."
The State Labor Report for January 2013 showed that one-fourth of Tennessee's jobs are goods producing.
This includes disciplines like engineering.
Consequently, ETSU's decision to produce an engineering major fills a state need.
"It's a win, win, win, win - four wins," Ross said. "Students who want to pursue engineering win, Tennessee Tech wins, ETSU wins and the employers win."
If authorized, the initiative will be the first shared-degree program in Tennessee.
The names of both institutions will be placed on the diploma.


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