ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (June 17, 2021) For over a decade, students sitting for the Pre-SAT, high-school sophomores and juniors, have reported an increased interest in the field of Engineering. In some specialties, a 67% increase was seen from 2012 to 2018.

Augustana has answered the call from students across the globe and will launch an engineering program beginning this fall.

“More and more, students are seeking an accredited engineering program to launch their careers full of natural curiosities and problem solving,” says Dr Wendy Hilton-Morrow, provost at Augustana. “The opportunity to study engineering at a liberal arts institution is one we know will distinguish Augustana graduates in the workforce.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of engineering is expected to see nearly 140,000 new jobs created by 2026 with the bulk in civil and mechanical specialties — two tracks Augustana will offer.

The college will complete the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology process in 2025 upon graduating its first student. Students starting at Augustana in the fall of 2021 will be in the first cohort of graduates.

Engineering will be the first Bachelor of Science the college will offer in its 161-year history. Students will study a robust and diverse liberal-arts curriculum in the arts, foreign languages, humanities, and, of course, science disciplines.

“Studying engineering at Augustana prepares graduates to enter a career with something unique,” says Dr Nathan Frank, associate professor of physics. “An engineer with a liberal-arts background has enhanced perspective, a strong ability to communicate, and the distinctive opportunity to make connections where they did not yet exist.”

Augustana will offer tracks in mechanical, civil, and environmental and sustainability engineering — three industries experiencing rapid growth.

The college reports that the Quad Cities is a prime location to begin an engineering program citing the Mississippi River and local industries as a natural fit for research and internship opportunities. 

Dr Mike Augspurger has been picked to help lead the mechanical engineering track. He has been a visiting professor at Augustana for the last two years, working closely with Dr Frank and Dr Joshua Dyer, associate professor of engineering physics. The college plans to hire an additional engineering professor in 2022. 

The engineering physics department will maintain a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering-Physics and 3+2 agreements with University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, and Purdue University.

“This is a great opportunity for Augustana and for the Quad Cities,” says Dr Hilton-Morrow. “The world needs Augustana graduates and engineers, and now there is a formal program for both.”

Known for sparking passionate curiosity, Augustana College is an empowering home to explore over 90 areas of study. Augustana’s innovative program, Augie Choice, transforms students into global citizens, thinkers, and doers with a $2,000 grant to explore the world, complete an internship, or conduct research with a professor. Augustana students achieve a balance inside and outside of the classroom; ranking top ten in all divisions for Academic All Americans. Transformed to be different, current students and alumni include health-care heroes, Nobel Prize-winners, CEOs, college presidents, and leaders across all continents. The college enrolls 2,500 curious changemakers who get energized by four years as part of a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.

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