OGDEN, Utah – Beginning fall semester 2005, Weber State University will offer an associate's degree in pre-engineering, the first of its kind in the school's history.
The new degree was approved by WSU's Trustees during their monthly meeting April 12. The state Board of Regents had previously approved the creation of pre-engineering degrees at Utah's public institutions of higher education as part of the governor's initiative for engineering.
"This degree formalizes a series of courses we've offered at Weber State for years and packages them as a degree," said professor Kirk Hagen, coordinator of WSU's pre-engineering program. "Offering this degree makes a lot sense considering our institution's location in one of the most industrialized areas of the state."
Hagen said the number of pre-engineering majors has doubled in recent years, from about 50 four years ago to more than 100 today.
The Associate of Pre-Engineering (APE) degree is a preparatory degree for students who wish to obtain a bachelor's degree in engineering. The degree has the same number of credit hours as other associate's degrees, but requires fewer general education credit hours. The first group of students earning the APE degree is expected to graduate in December 2005.
Hagen said the majority of students pursuing this degree will likely continue their studies in engineering at the University of Utah or Utah State. WSU has articulation agreements with those schools, so pre-engineering courses taken at WSU transfer into their engineering programs.
"If for some reason they abandon their studies before earning a bachelor's degree, this degree offers them something they can demonstrate to potential employers," Hagen said.
The creation of this degree will enable WSU students to be eligible for financial aid consideration and other tuition assistance. Prospective students interested in learning more about the APE should contact the pre-engineering program at (801) 626-6998.
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