Colorado State University and the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) have signed an agreement to partner on a new Associate in Engineering Science degree that will help engineering students move from a community college directly into the CSU mechanical engineering degree program.
The agreement, made official at an Oct. 26 signing ceremony with CSU President Joyce McConnell and CCCS Chancellor Joe Garcia, streamlines the transfer process for students who wish to complete their first two years of coursework at a community college and seamlessly transfer into the CSU mechanical engineering degree program. The agreement is essentially a broad promise between the community college system and CSU that gives students a structured, no-surprises pathway leading from an associate degree into a bachelor’s degree program in the same discipline.
McConnell and Garcia signed the agreement at an event hosted by Woodward Inc.
Photos by Ben Ward
Though students from CCCS institutions including Front Range Community College were already able to transfer to CSU mechanical engineering, there was no explicitly laid out mechanism for doing so that applied to the entire community college system. As a result, some students arrived at CSU deficient in prerequisites necessary to jump into the program. Now, students who successfully complete their associate in engineering science degree at a community college can transfer directly into CSU and be guaranteed to be on track toward their bachelor’s as soon as they arrive.
“Our new transfer agreement with our community college partners is a wonderful example of how our land-grant institution works to provide access to as many degree pathways as possible to as many students as possible,” McConnell said. “We’re proud to continue our close partnership with the community college system to help more students achieve higher education by eliminating bureaucratic barriers to their success.”
Garcia added: “We’re excited to partner with CSU on this new degree pathway for our students. As the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the state, our mission includes preparing students for the workforce as well as providing opportunities for transfer to continue their education. This system-wide partnership will offer our students a clear pathway to a degree in mechanical engineering from one of the state’s top institutions.”
The statewide transfer agreement has been several years in the making. Faculty at CCCS and CSU are already contemplating additional degrees so that more students from other disciplines can benefit from similar arrangements.
The signing event was hosted by Woodward Inc., a firm headquartered in Fort Collins that specializes in the manufacture of energy control systems for the aerospace and industrial markets. Woodward sources significant engineering talent from CSU. Doug Salter, chief technology officer at Woodward, said: “Woodward applauds CSU and the community colleges for creating this partnership. We are excited about the diverse Colorado engineering talent this program will reach, and we look forward to those future Colorado engineers helping enable the path to a cleaner, decarbonized world.”
Woodward’s chief technology officer, Doug Salter, attends the signing ceremony.
The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce provided a financial gift that will support community college students who go on to attend CSU to obtain a mechanical engineering degree. Ann Hutchison, president and CEO of the Chamber, was among the attendees at the signing ceremony.