WBU and WTA&M sign engineering agreement
PLAINVIEW – The School of Mathematics and Sciences at Wayland Baptist University and the School of Engineering at West Texas A&M University entered into an official agreement on Wednesday to offer a program that will allow students to earn dual degrees from the universities.
Dr. Matt Jackson, the associate dean of the WT’s School of Engineering, was on hand to explain and discuss to program with interested Wayland students. The program is designed for students to take the core curriculum and math courses at Wayland, then transfer to WT where they will complete an engineering program in order to graduate with a degree in math from Wayland and a degree in engineering from WT. Students will take approximately 71 hours of Wayland courses and 54 hours from WT – approximately the same number of hours it takes to earn a single degree from Wayland.
Jackson, who graduated from Wayland, explained that WT’s School of Engineering has approximately 750 students, most of whom are enrolled in the mechanical engineering degree program. Jackson said students may also pursing civil engineering and environmental engineering – programs that are just a few years old. He also said that the School is planning to begin an electrical engineering program next fall, pending final state approval. The School officials are predicting huge success for the electrical engineering program.
“Employers in our area are desperate for electrical engineers who will stay here and raise their families here,” Jackson said.
Dean of Wayland’s School of Mathematics and Sciences Dr. Scott Franklin said this degree program has been in the works for several years. He and Dr. Jackson have been friends since grade school in Canadian. When Dr. Jackson joined the faculty at WT, they began discussing the possibilities. With the help of Dr. Stan DeMerritt and Dr. William Hahn at Wayland and other faculty and administrators at WT, the universities were able to reach an agreement that maximizes transfer credits.
Wayland Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Bobby Hall gave credit to the work of both university staffs and said this agreement, while mutually beneficial to the universities, is a benefit to the students, and having two degrees will give them a competitive edge in the marketplace.
“I don’t think there has ever been a time in the three decades that I have been in higher education that collaboration and cooperation are more important, and that collaboration and cooperation be focused on what is good for students,” Hall said. “One thing that I know about our friends in Canyon is that they are just like us. Their interest is in their students more than anything.
“We feel really good about the opportunity to say that this transition makes sense from a Wayland experience and Wayland culture to West Texas A&M experience and West Texas A&M culture.”