ACC & Texas A&M launch innovative co-enrollment program for engineering students

Texas A&M University, Chevron and Austin Community College (ACC) announce the formation of the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at ACC, an innovative co-enrollment partnership developed to address the state’s growing need for engineers. Qualified students will be admitted to the Texas A&M College of Engineering, complete the first two years of coursework at ACC and finish their engineering degrees in College Station, Texas.

The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academies will allow students to remain close to home for their first two years while pursuing one of 18 majors within the College of Engineering at Texas A&M. This program is being generously supported by Chevron.

“We were excited to be contacted by Austin Community College to explore an engineering academy partnership and are pleased now to offer ACC students a unique pathway toward a first-rate degree from an Engineering College ranked among the top 10 in the world,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “Our goal is to attract the very best students to Texas A&M Engineering, even if circumstances require them to stay close to home for the first two years of college. These students will be Aggies in Austin from day one.”

“It’s about opportunity. This academy makes it possible for more students to pursue their dreams; starting at ACC and finishing at one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the nation,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president and CEO. “This partnership is a great example of industry and higher education working together to accelerate pathways into the workforce.”

A 2012 report by the President’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology projected that 1 million more STEM degrees would be needed in the next decade. In Texas alone, the projected need for engineers in the workforce is 62,000 by 2022. To meet this need, universities and two-year colleges will need to work together to bridge the gap and attract and retain students who are interested in STEM fields.

“ACC has inked another innovative partnership which will help area employers receive more quality engineering talent,” says Drew Scheberle, Austin Chamber of Commerce senior vice president. “It’s important that we do our job and recruit them to return to Central Texas after graduation.”

Chevron has donated $5 million to support five total Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academies across the state that includes Austin Community College; Houston Community College, Spring Branch in Houston; Texas Southmost College in Brownsville; El Centro College in Dallas; and Alamo Colleges in San Antonio.

“Chevron is committed to increasing access to, and the quality of, education around the world and is excited to be able to continue our longstanding relationship with Texas A&M through support of the Engineering Academy initiative. Our Engineering Academies will help provide opportunities in the field of engineering for many underrepresented and first generation college students,” said Shariq Yosufzai, Chevron Vice President of Global Diversity, Ombuds & University Partnerships & Association Relations. “Partnering with Texas A&M, a top source of engineering hires for Chevron, to help provide opportunities in the field of engineering will support our efforts to help build the diverse workforce of tomorrow that will be required to meet the energy needs of the future.“

Texas A&M Engineering Vice Chancellor and Dean M. Katherine Banks said the academies have the potential to reach beyond the typical pathways for access to a top-ranked engineering program.

“The academies, through our partnership with Chevron and the two-year colleges, provide new pathways to a first-rate engineering education,” said M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering. “Through this co-enrollment program, students can live at home for the first two years of college without postponing their participation in an engineering program that is highly regarded by employers across the country.”

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