Armstrong and GSU Sign MOU for Engineering Programs
(Aug. 2, 2012) Armstrong President Linda Bleicken and Georgia Southern University President Brooks A. Keel signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, August 1 for engineering education between the two institutions.
During their freshman and sophomore years of the program, students at Armstrong will enroll in core curriculum and introductory engineering courses taught by Armstrong faculty in Savannah. Upon completion of their sophomore year, students will earn an Associate of Science degree with a concentration in engineering. Qualified students will then have the opportunity to transfer to Georgia Southern to earn a bachelor's degree in civil, electrical or mechanical engineering.
“We are pleased to bring Armstrong and Georgia Southern's engineering programs together,” said Bleicken. “This agreement allows students to complete their initial associate degree credentials at Armstrong and move seamlessly to the bachelor's program at Georgia Southern, taking advantage of the talented faculty at both institutions.”
“Today is all about opportunity. As of result of the agreement we have signed, students at Armstrong will now be able to transfer into one of Georgia Southern's bachelor of engineering programs. This enables more students to have access to top-notch engineering education in the state of Georgia,” said Keel.
During the ceremony, representatives from both universities emphasized that this new agreement will help generate an increased supply of qualified engineering graduates. As a result, Georgia companies will have the opportunity to attract, hire and retain work-ready engineers that meet their requirements without having to recruit out of state.
“As we partner together, we are meeting the needs that have been expressed very strongly by our business leaders, by our cities and certainly by citizens across the state,” added Bleicken. “We are all working together to create more educated citizens for the state of Georgia.”
The Engineering Studies Program at Armstrong provides several unique opportunities for engineering students. Through the program, students build a solid foundation in humanities, mathematics, sciences and engineering. Learning takes place in a friendly, small college environment where students can obtain individual help from and maintain close contact with professors outside of classes.
Georgia Southern is one of the newest colleges to offer undergraduate engineering degrees in the country. The University has been offering nationally accredited baccalaureate degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering technology for more than 30 years and the recent establishment of the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology is attracting national attention and interest. “Georgia Southern is receiving an increasing amount of interest from students who want to stay in the state of Georgia. Our engineering programs not only provide students with the opportunity to study engineering theory, but focus on providing them with practical, hands-on experience – something employers have said they desperately need,” said Keel.
During the past 20 years, the U.S. has not produced enough engineering graduates to meet employment demands. In Georgia, an aging engineering workforce continues to retire at a faster rate than can be replaced. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the 2008-18 decade, overall engineering employment is expected to grow by 11 percent.
Administrators and engineering faculty from both universities along with guests from Gulfstream, Mitsubishi Power Systems America, Inc., Hussey, Gay, Bell and DeYoung, Thomas & Hutton, Savannah Tech and other regional business leaders were present for the signing ceremony.