August 6, 2010

 

LSU and the Baton Rouge Community College, or BRCC, have joined forces to offer a unique engineering program with the goal of making an education in engineering realistic for all Louisiana students.

The “AS to BS in Engineering Progression Program” will allow students to enter into a proposed engineering program at BRCC to gain an Associate of Science in Engineering degree. Upon successful completion of the Associate of Science degree requirements, students would then transfer seamlessly to LSU to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in a College of Engineering discipline.

This progression program makes engineering more affordable and more practical to many students across the state who might have difficulty entering LSU, whether due to financial issues or entry requirements.

“The BRCC-LSU partnership will provide additional pathways to transform Louisiana students into engineers,” said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. “Typically, the traditional student enters LSU as a freshman, right out of high school. With a growing need for engineering professionals in the workforce and LSU’s responsibility as a land grant institution, the formation of this program to open new paths is critical.”

The partnership will also allow participating BRCC students to become involved at LSU and experience additional opportunities specific to their major. A BRCC student will be asked to join the LSU Engineering Student Council as a liaison member, and LSU will invite students from the AS in Engineering program to attend LSU student chapters of engineering professional organizations and societies as a transition for the development of student chapters at BRCC.

The partnership between LSU and BRCC will also facilitate faculty collaboration between the two schools, particularly where curricular activities and engineering education pedagogy are concerned. It will allow both faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities offered on both campuses throughout their time in the program.

“The benefit to the students here is significant,” said Rick Koubek, dean of the College of Engineering. “This program was truly designed with the intent to make an engineering education – and career – a truly tangible dream for every student. The AS to BS in Engineering Progression Program underscores LSU’s commitment to Louisiana; by educating more students and producing more professional engineers, we are meeting the workforce needs of our state.”

LSU and BRCC signed a memorandum of understanding in July, and the program is slated to commence in the fall of 2010. Though the agreement is specifically targeted toward benefitting students and providing service to the state of Louisiana, it will also benefit engineering professionals at both campuses in the following ways:

  • BRCC faculty will be invited to participate in LSU’s National Science Foundation-sponsored Faculty Development Workshop, which is held annually.
  • LSU and BRCC faculty will collaborate on external grants to improve engineering education.
  • BRCC faculty will be invited to attend the monthly Engineering Faculty Professional Series that covers topics from active learning strategies to collaborative efforts.

“I’d like to personally thank Kelly Rusch and Warren Waggenspack from the LSU College of Engineering, as well as Kerry Reed from BRCC’s College of Math, Science and Technology, for making this program become a reality,” said Koubek. “These dedicated faculty have created a detailed curriculum and transfer model in six months, a virtually impossible feat given the time constraints. Their hard work has resulted in an engineering partnership that will directly benefit the future of Louisiana.”

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Article by Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu



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