Rio Grande Community College is excited to announce a new Pre-Engineering Associate of Technical Studies degree. Chair of Engineering Technologies, Keith Saunders, said the degree develops a background of mathematics, physics and chemistry, which are necessary to all four-year engineering degree programs.
“Pre-Engineering has a focus to build up a person’s background in academic areas required for an engineering degree. The program acts as a stepping stone for students to make sure they are ready academically to enroll in a baccalaureate degree program for engineering and also helps them decide what path to follow in the field,” Saunders said. “This will be an excellent opportunity for potential students to develop and strengthen these skills at an affordable tuition rate while staying within the community.”
To earn the associate degree, students must earn 60-62 credit hours, including both general education courses and courses specific to the degree. Current students who have already taken or are enrolled in courses in the degree program are eligible to declare the major. Dean of Community College Programming, Dr. Craig Klein said he is grateful to the administration, boards of trustees, faculty and staff for their quick efforts and support needed to create the program.
“Here at Rio, we look to see if there is a need for a program and then work to provide the opportunity. We found a need in our service area for this type of degree because we have numerous job opportunities for different types of engineers. We saw that we already offered the courses needed to complete it, and set out to make it happen for our community,” Klein said. “I hope this will allow more people within our community to obtain an affordable associate degree that will offer opportunities to move forward with the next steps they have planned for their careers.”
The Pre-Engineering Associate of Technical Studies degree is the third new program added to Rio this semester, preceded by an Integrated Arts Graduate Program and an English Associate Degree. Klein said he believes it is important for Rio to continue providing these new opportunities to the community.
“It’s important for us continue growing and adding new programs because the world changes and we need to be able to adapt to what potential students need. We constantly modify and add to our programs to make sure our students receive high quality education needed for a successful career in their chosen fields,” Klein said. “As an educational institution, we have to be responsive to the needs of the people we serve, and this is evidence of that effort.”
Saunders said he is excited to bring this new program to Rio and is grateful for the new opportunity continue providing quality education to the community.
For more information on the new Pre-Engineering Associate of Technical Studies degree or the School of Engineering Technologies, contact 740-245-7315.