Aug. 16, 2012 COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
WTAMU Department Renamed School of Engineering and Computer Science
CANYON, Texas—Beginning Sept. 1, West Texas A&M University’s Department of Engineering and Computer Science will be renamed the School of Engineering and Computer Science, a new designation approved by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents at its August meeting and again this week by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The new designation recognizes the growth and excellence of WTAMU’s engineering and computer science programs and will help the school recruit and retain students and faculty from across the country.
Earning the school designation for WTAMU’s engineering department is quite an accomplishment for a relatively young program. The University launched its engineering program in 2003 with mechanical engineering. It was expanded in 2010 with the addition of civil engineering and the growth continues this fall with the inclusion of environmental engineering to the degree offerings.
“We are very excited about the progression of our programs to a School of Engineering and Computer Science,” Dr. Emily Hunt, associate professor of mechanical engineering and interim director of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, said. “Our engineering programs are experiencing growth much beyond what was ever originally predicted. Mechanical engineering has more than 500 students enrolled and approximately 120 graduates so far. Civil classes are beginning to fill up each semester, and we already have students enrolled in our newest program of environmental engineering.
“Our engineering programs are meeting a need that has existed for several years in this region," Hunt said. "More than 85 percent of our graduates who stay in Texas after graduation stay right here in the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle. Becoming a School of Engineering takes us closer to our overall goal of becoming a college of engineering at West Texas A&M University. It shows administrative and industrial support for our mission and programs and enables us to enhance the educational experience of the engineering students of the Texas Panhandle.”
The WTAMU program, created in direct response to community need, provides greater opportunities for the area’s brightest students and benefits economic development by attracting new industry to the area. The program is a strong one and very competitive on the national scale. The mechanical engineering program has been ABET accredited since 2006, and students have a first-time pass rate of more than 90 percent on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Employment of WTAMU engineering graduates stands at 100 percent.