New Engineering Program Wins Final Approval
April 23, 2015
In May of 2014, the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents approved the addition of the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.) degree to ASU’s Department of Physics and Geosciences, pending final THECB approval. New faculty, additional equipment and materials, and a new facility will be required for the new program, and ASU has received a $4.5 million gift to fund construction of the new facility from an anonymous donor. Construction is set to begin immediately near the Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building off Vanderventer Street.
“This is an exciting step forward for Angelo State,” said ASU President Brian J. May. “Adding engineering to our already popular physics and geosciences programs will bring more of the brightest young minds in West Texas to ASU and potentially attract other top students from throughout Texas and the U.S. We are hustling now to get the new facility online for classes this fall.”
The civil engineering program will build on ASU’s highly successful programs in the sciences, including physics, geosciences, computer science and mathematics. There is already significant community support for the program with several local engineering firms committed to providing student internship opportunities. The new program will also open up opportunities for Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grants and transfer agreements that were previously unavailable.
One such agreement has already been signed and funded. In August, ASU was awarded a five-year, $2.87 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a cooperative project between ASU and Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde that is titled “Strengthening the Engineering Pipeline in West Texas” (STEP West Texas).
At ASU, grant funds will be utilized to hire faculty and provide infrastructure for the engineering program. SWTJC will use the funding to implement an Associate of Science in Engineering Sciences (A.S.E.S.) degree. Under the new program, SWTJC students would be able complete the A.S.E.S. degree, which includes a summer program at ASU, and then transfer to ASU to complete a B.S.C.E. degree.
“We have been preparing for this moment since last summer,” May said. “Our new provost, Dr. Don Topliff, has a solid engineering background and will lead the way as we implement the engineering program. The entire campus is excited that we have our final approval and can begin educating the next generation of civil engineers right here at Angelo State.”