Program helps Tarrant youth earn Texas A&M engineering degrees

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Becoming an engineer is not easy. It takes intelligence, hard work and real courage.

But it doesn’t have to be unaffordable.

We have proven that at Texas A&M University through the success of our Engineering Academy Programwhich allows kids who have the smarts and drive to become engineers, even if they can’t afford to leave home for a dorm in College Station after high school.

More than 2,300 kids from Fort Worth, Austin, Brenham, Dallas, Houston, Midland, San Antonio, and Bryan-College Station have taken advantage of and enrolled in the academy’s program since it launched in 2015. And they’re saving a ton of money in the deal.

Doing this was not rocket science, and the success of this program can be replicated.

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Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp speaking at an event announcing the opening of a new engineering academy at Tarrant County College South Campus on 5/13/2022 Harrison Mantas [email protected]

Here’s how it works: We send top-notch Texas A&M engineering faculty to community colleges, where students take their first two years of foundation courses before moving on to Texas A&M College of Engineering at College Station to finish. We plan to expand this opportunity to other partner institutions in the near future, broadening the scope of this ambitious effort.

one of us partners is Tarrant County College.

Most of these children stay at home with the support of their families. This saves them tens of thousands of dollars in expenses.

Statistics on the children who have benefited from this program are encouraging: 33% of them are the first generation in their family to obtain a university degree. Almost a fifth are women and 40% are Hispanic.

Of course, we were heavily criticized when we started this. They said, “You’re going to flood the market with engineers. None of these children will find employment. You are going to have inferior students.

None of this turned out to be true. In fact, these students did very well. The 256 students who have earned their Texas A&M engineering degree through our academies have a 3.2 GPA, as good as our traditional engineering students.

A whopping 81% of students in our engineering academy stay in the program three years after taking their first course. They are not washed. And after graduating, they get high-paying jobs.

That’s because earning an engineering degree from Texas A&M can be a ticket to a better life. It is one of our best degrees and our graduates are usually hired right out of school.

It is not a surprise. The need for talented engineers continues to grow. Just look out the window and you will understand why: everything you see was either created by God or by an engineer.

Thanks to the success of our Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Tarrant County College, more of these will be done by an Aggie engineer.

John Sharp is chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.

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John Sharp

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