Students enrolled in STEM courses – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – at any college in the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) can now co-enroll in Texas A&M University’s acclaimed engineering program.
The partnership between the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy and DCCCD is an innovative method of addressing the need to put more engineers in the workforce, said Kevin L. Stewart, Jr., associate dean of STEM at El Centro College.
“We’re trying to create an affordable option that accelerates the time to a degree completion,” Stewart said. “We want our students to obtain a degree that will help them earn a living wage. We want to promote a track where they can earn credits as DCCCD students and become part of Texas A&M’s College of Engineering the day they enroll.”
Program graduates can earn a starting salary ranging from $65,000 to $97,000, he added.
Students can spend up to two years taking courses at a DCCCD college before they transition full time to Texas A&M in College Station to complete their undergraduate degrees. This ambitious pathway of co-enrollment means students can take courses such as mathematics and science, as well as core curriculum classes at a DCCCD college, study engineering under Texas A&M and then join the workforce in four years.
“The majority of these students will save money because they can stay at home and don’t need a dorm,” Stewart said. “They earn an associate degree, and we don’t lose them. They do not have to apply again at Texas A&M because they’re already enrolled.”
The program started at El Centro in 2015 and expanded two years later to Richland College. Currently, 33 students are enrolled in the program, Stewart said.