Tennessee Tech and ETSU create joint engineering degree

Partnership creates only undergraduate joint degree of any discipline in the state of Tennessee

Tennessee Tech University.
Tennessee Tech University.

COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Tech University and East Tennessee State University are working together to create a joint degree. A bachelor of science degree in engineering will be offered to students at both schools beginning this fall.

This is currently the only undergraduate joint degree of any discipline in the state of Tennessee and one of the few in the country. ETSU does not currently offer any engineering degrees; a degree that offers every aspect of engineering, creating candidates for engineering management positions, will benefit both schools, leaders said.

“Providing a student with multi-disciplinary knowledge is what drives this degree,” said Darrell Hoy, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering at Tech. “We are aiming to produce students who see the bigger picture and are more business oriented.”

Many modern engineering projects are multi-disciplinary. Automobiles, for example, have complex systems of computers, electronics and engines, producing the need for someone who has an overview of many engineering disciplines.

“A general overview degree is a segment of engineering we have been missing at Tech for a while,” said Kristine Craven, interim director of basic engineering. “I think it will be beneficial to students who would like to come to school here for a degree where they can gain a general overview of all the disciplines we already offer.”

The joint program will be based on hybrid classes that are taught via distance learning to bridge the 200-mile gap between the two schools.  Tech professors will lead the way by teaching the first year of classes.

Students are now able to register for fall semester classes. The program becomes official this July.

ETSU will hire two engineering professors on their campus who will be able to help students with homework and any questions they may have. Beginning fall 2017, an ETSU professor will deliver a class via distance learning technology. Each year the schools will alternate hosting the classes.

“By sharing resources we will be able to reach more students and help them earn an engineering degree without duplicating resources,” Hoy said. “This will allow both schools to greatly benefit from this program.”

Tech is also expected to gain a doctorate of nursing program in a similar joint adventure in the near future.

The new engineering degree will apply for ABET accreditation as soon as possible. Degrees will list the names of both universities, even though students will only pay tuition to their home university.

Tennessee Tech College of Engineering offers ABET-accredited undergraduate programs in chemical engineering, civil engineering,  electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science. At the graduate level, the college offers both master’s degrees and a doctorate in engineering. Founded in 1915, Tech offers more than 40 bachelor and 20 graduate programs to nearly 11,000 students on its 252-acre campus in Cookeville.


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