Engineering Pathways: A UNC-NCCCS Initiative

“The Engineering Pathways Initiative is an important step in providing widespread access to engineering as a career path for citizens of this state,” says Dr. Jerome Lavelle, Associate Dean in the College of Engineering at NC State and one of the project leaders. Engineering Pathways is a collaborative effort of faculty and administrators at the University of North Carolina System and the North Carolina Community College System schools to increase post secondary access to the discipline of engineering. This initiative, supported by a grant from the Golden L.E.A.F. Foundation, seeks to improve flexibility in course taking, to improve academic advising and to provide access to engineering course content for students on community college campuses prior to transferring to engineering programs.

Students gain access to important math, science and engineering courses in a two-year timeframe while at the community college, then transfer to UNC engineering programs at NC State, UNC-Charlotte, NC A&T University or East Carolina University based on their preparation and goals. By improving critical pathways, students are better prepared in being successful before and after their transfer.

“The need for engineering graduates in our state’s ‘innovation-economy’ continues to be strong,” Lavelle notes. “By creating vital and varied pathways for a broad set of constituents to access engineering as a field of study, we strengthen the educational experiences for our students and strengthen the pool of graduates.”

The initial set of pilot courses and processes are set to begin in Fall 2010. NC Community College partner schools include Wake Tech, Wayne, Johnston and Sandhills Community Colleges, as well as the College of the Albemarle.