Re-engineering Engineering Science

Engineering majors lead the list of college degrees that pay the highest salaries for college graduates today, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The starting salary for mechanical engineers, for example, is approximately $64,000.

Engineering is the E in STEM — the hot education acronym buzzword that addresses the perceived lack of qualified candidates for high-tech jobs. Within the context of the 21st century global economy, the United States needs to increase its talent pool in Science Technology Engineering and Math to remain competitive with increasingly tech-savvy developing nations.

Montgomery County Community College has sustained a strong focus on STEM education. In response to the growing demand for engineers, the College recently revised its two-year Engineering Associate of Science (AS) degree program to ensure the seamless transfer of credits to four-year engineering programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET).

The College’s newly revised Engineering Science program is now a split two-year program. Students spend their first year taking core courses in engineering, science and calculus, and focus on either mechanical or electrical study second year. The revised program also will include an Introduction to Engineering course to capture students’ interest and encourage their persistence. This course is modeled after the introductory program offered by John Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, which is part of Engineering Innovations, a program for high school students who are interested in engineering  that will be held at the Central Campus this summer.

With the new program updates, graduates of the College’s Engineering Science program can transfer easily into four-year, EAC-accredited engineering bachelor’s programs, including those offered by Temple, Widener and Philadelphia universities. Graduates from EAC accredited programs have access to enhanced opportunities in employment; licensure, graduate education and global mobility.

“The benefit for students is that they receive a high-quality education at a substantial savings and then can transfer to an EAC-accredited program at a four-year institution,” said Dr. David Brookstein, the College’s new Dean for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, who has more than 19 years of engineering education experience.

The changes to the Engineering Science program were the result of an Academic Program Review by Dr. Brookstein, in collaboration with an outside engineering consultant and the College’s faculty. Dr. Brookstein is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and has substantial knowledge of ABET. Among the faculty who had input into the retooled program are Assistant Professor of Engineering H. Thomas Tucker and Associate Professor of Engineering William Brownlowe.

For more information about the Engineering Science program, visit mc3.edu.

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