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Texas Southern Strengthens STEM Programs by Adding Two New Engineering



In a bold move to solidify Texas Southern University as a leader and top producer of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates, the College of Science and Technology (COST) has been authorized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to begin offering Bachelor’s degree programs in Civil Engineering in the spring of 2015 and in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the fall of 2015.

“This is a major addition to COST’s STEM degree programs and a great step forward in the advancement of education for minority students,” said Dr. Lei Yu, COST dean. “These programs will provide significantly to the workforce for civil, electrical and computer engineers, which are the professional occupations with the greatest demand of all engineering and science occupations and which have the least minority practitioners.” 

Students graduating from the newly minted engineering programs will be in great demand, as the statistics shows that the demand for engineering graduates in the next decade is expected to increase at more than double the rate for all other professionals. Civil engineering is expected to experience significant growth in light of the urgent needs of rebuilding the national infrastructure. Electrical and computer engineering will also be expected to grow significantly with the advent of the “Internet of Things” and the automation of the manufacturing, transportation, and energy infrastructures. Engineering education is considered a priority for the State’s economic well-being and the national security. TSU will now be able to join other institutions to make its share of contributions to the production and diversification of highly needed engineering workforce for the State.

Both programs will be accredited through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) which is the major engineering program accreditation body in the United States. Both programs will differ from other similar programs in the area by including a formal co-op engineering track. Working with corporations, industries and government agencies, the Cooperative Education Track will give students the opportunity to gain work experience before graduating. Alternating work semesters with school semesters, the student can work towards career goals in a meaningful job while going to school and testing degree interests in real-world situations.

“It was our goal to develop a Civil Engineering Program that would provide high- quality, practice-focused education to fully develop and enrich the students’ lives in a culturally diverse environment; and develop their personal potential to the greatest extent possible to serve the society at large,” said University President Dr. John Rudley.

“Societal needs call for greater diversity within the engineering profession,” Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. James Ward noted. “Historically, African Americans have been severely underrepresented in the engineering fields so consequently there is a dire need to implement more academic programs that will attract, nurture and graduate more African Americans in the engineering disciplines. Our two new degree programs will contribute to stemming the tide of constant decline in the number of degrees awarded to minorities and African American students in Civil, Electrical and Computer Engineering.”