NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Two new Bachelor of Science degrees will be added to Stephen F. Austin State University’s offerings in the fall. The Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering will be housed in the College of Sciences and Mathematics and taught by faculty members in the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy.
The Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges approved the new degree programs in June. Students can now enroll in the programs and begin working toward their degree when the fall semester begins Aug. 22.
“SFA currently offers an engineering physics degree with concentrations in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering,” said Dr. Matthew Beauregard, professor and interim chair of the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy. “The engineering physics program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. ABET recommended that SFA create parallel baccalaureate degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering. We will be seeking ABET accreditation for the new programs in the near future.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in mechanical and electrical engineering should grow by 7% from 2020 to 2030.
“The BLS estimates there will be more than 520,000 mechanical and electrical engineers employed in the U.S. by 2030,” Beauregard said. “Demand, coupled with salaries that hover around $100,000 a year, makes these careers a solid choice.”
The Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering will comprise 122 credit hours. The Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering will take 126 credit hours to complete. Each program will be offered on the Nacogdoches campus through face-to-face instruction utilizing facilities in the Cole STEM Building.
All current faculty members in the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy will contribute to the program. Additional faculty members are slated to be added after initial enrollment goals are realized.
The steps to obtaining approval to offer these degree programs began in fall 2020 with a coordinated effort throughout SFA’s Division of Academic Affairs. They progressed to SFA’s Board of Regents in spring 2021. The process then had to meet the approval of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which was granted in April 2022. The recent approval by SACSCOC means the programs are ready to go.
“I would like to thank everyone involved for their vision and dedication,” Beauregard said. “This would not have been possible without the historical labors of faculty members within the department and administrators on this campus. I especially want to recognize the tremendous work by Dr. Dan Bruton, empowerment by our dean Dr. Kimberly Childs, leadership support by Dr. Lorenzo Smith, and the careful and concerted analysis done by Dr. Marc Guidry, John Calahan and Alisha Collins.
For more information about the degree programs, contact the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy at firstname.lastname@example.org.