Bioscience

Engineering a new program at Yuma colleges

March 17, 2007

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Sarah Reynolds, Yuma Sun] — Businesses and government entities in Yuma are struggling to find trained engineers to design the architectural and technological future of the area. “Many have expressed a desire that they would (hire) engineers in our community if we had a curriculum that they could be involved in on an ongoing basis,” said Ken Rosevear, executive director of the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce.

Staff at Arizona Western College are in the process of developing an engineering associate’s degree and an engineering aide certificate program. Northern Arizona University-Yuma is also trying to bring more upper-level engineering courses to the local campus. AWC President Don Schoening said these programs are still in the concept stage of development but he wants to have them open to students before the fall academic semester begins in August. Right now, he added, what they need most are students who will commit to engineering training.

Rakesh Pangasa, professor of mathematics and engineering at AWC, is currently in India fine-tuning the college’s engineering effort. He is trying to recruit about 25 students from New Delhi to come study in Yuma. AWC offers a couple of engineering courses now but does not have degree or certificate programs in place yet. College staff members are also talking to local high schools to identify prospective engineers. Once they have enough students to start a program, Schoening said, they should be able to sustain it with area high school graduates in the coming years. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]