College Cost

Engineering Transition Program Shrinks Cost of Degree

A Texas community college is working with a four-year institution to help students ease the cost of earning their engineering degrees. Houston Community College engineering students can begin their four-year programs through its Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy, which allows them to be co-enrolled in HCC and Texas A&M University.

The idea is that students take their math, science and core curriculum courses through the two-year institution and tackle engineering requirements from the A&M faculty on the two-year campus. In their third year of study, if they've maintained at least a 2.5 GPA, they move directly to A&M's main campus in College Station for their junior and senior years.

The cost savings runs to the "tens of thousands of dollars," according to John Vasselli, HCC dean of engineering, in a press release. An additional plus for students in the program, he added, is that "because they are A&M students, they have all the benefits provided by the university. They go to football games, they go to job fairs. We have them at the A&M campus often."

HCC is one of six two-year partners working with Texas A&M to operate an academy. The others include Austin Community College, Blinn College, El Centro College and Texas Southmost College.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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