FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marshall Board of Governors approves Engineering degree program
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University’s Board of Governors, in a special meeting today at the Memorial Student Center, unanimously approved the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree program at Marshall.
The new four-year undergraduate program, which will be implemented this fall and will be the only such program in the state, will be housed in the College of Information Technology and Engineering’s existing Division of Engineering and Computer Science. This is the first time in more than 30 years that such a degree program will be available to Marshall students.
The primary objectives of the BSE degree are to build a strong foundation in mathematics, science and in core engineering courses; to allow students the opportunity to pursue an engineering area of emphasis; and to provide students a high degree of flexibility through elective courses.
“This is a very important step for Marshall University toward establishing a program that will open new areas of collaboration and economic development,” Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp said. “The flexibility of this program will allow us to look at combining interdisciplinary majors that will help prepare students to be adaptive and creative in their work. It opens up tremendous opportunities for our students, and it will attract a broader pool of students to the engineering profession.”
The new engineering program largely is the result of state legislation passed in 2004. Senate Bill 448 included language inserted by Sen. Robert Plymale, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, which allowed Marshall to begin the process of expanding its engineering offerings. This legislation also was strongly supported by the entire Cabell-Wayne legislative delegation.
Dr. Sarah Denman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said implementing the new four-year engineering program “is extremely important to Marshall University.”
“This degree complements our already strong science, technology and graduate engineering programs,” Denman said. “The engineering degree has been the missing link. It will assist many disciplines, geography and visual arts to name just a couple, at this institution in their ability to grow.”
Marshall has had an undergraduate degree program before, but it was discontinued in 1970 because of external factors and institutional priorities that existed at that time. Marshall did, however, retain the program’s freshman and sophomore years.
Through this program, students completed the first two years of undergraduate engineering at Marshall and thereafter had to transfer to another institution to obtain the actual engineering degree. Many students took advantage of this program, transferring to West Virginia University, WVU Institute of Technology, or to other institutions in the state.
Dr. Betsy Dulin, dean of the College of Information Technology and Engineering, said the new program fits in well with other established programs at the college.
“This is an important step in the continuing growth of our engineering and computer science undergraduate programs,” Dulin said. “Our faculty members have been working very hard toward this goal for quite some time, and are to be commended for their dedication to these programs and to the students in the state and the region. Marshall’s engineering alumni and regional professional communities also played key roles in planning and support of the new program.”
Denman said anticipation of the new engineering program is high not only at Marshall, but in the community and the state as well.
“It’s good to come full circle,” she said. “Engineering was always a part of this institution and now it’s back again.”