Q. Why is this initiative needed?
This initiative began to address the critical and growing demand in Texas and the United States for more engineers. The Texas Workforce Commission is projecting a 19 percent growth in engineering jobs in the next 12 years. This equates to more than 43,000 jobs. This projection mirrors a recent call by the President's Council of Advisors on STEM for the nation to increase the number of STEM graduates to one million in the next 10 years. Texas A&M is stepping forward to address this critical state and national need through an innovative sustainable and systemic change of our educational enterprise.
References and Reports:
Q. How many students apply each year to the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University and how many are currently enrolled?
More than 10,000 students applied to the Look College in 2012 for the 1,600 enrollment slots available in the Fall 2013 semester. Engineering enrollment for Fall 2012 was 11,281 total students (8,397 undergraduate; 1,375 master's; 1,509 doctoral).
Q. How does the college plan to increase enrollment to 25,000 students?
University administration has developed a carefully considered and responsible growth plan for this initiative beginning fall 2013 which includes:
- Anticipated annual growth of:
This plan will be evaluated annually and adjusted to meet market demands.
- 6.5 percent undergraduate students
- 15 percent M.S. (both online and on-campus programs)
- 5 percent Ph.D. students
- Improved retention of engineering students
- Expanding partnerships with community colleges to increase the number of transfer students such as the Blinn TEAM program
Q. Will this initiative affect the quality of the engineering education at Texas A&M?
As a Top 10 public institution, quality is and has always been a priority of the Dwight Look College of Engineering. In fact quality is one of the main criteria of this initiative. We remain committed to providing a high-quality education and to producing well-prepared engineers who are ready to address the challenges of today and tomorrow. If at any time, we feel we have reached our maximum capacity and the quality of our education could be affected, we will postpone the growth until our operations could accommodate all students.
Q. Will this increase class size?
No, maintaining our current student-to-faculty ratio is important. By employing technology and creating "flipped classrooms," we will be able to allow for greater and more efficient use of our facilities while potentially decreasing our class size.
Q. Will this initiative reduce the value of my Aggie engineering degree?
No, maintaining the quality of a Texas A&M engineering degree remains a priority. While we are increasing enrollment, we are not changing our strong program requirements. Our engineering program is built on Texas A&M's six core values: excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and service. This initiative will generate more Aggie engineers and expand, the Aggie Network thus strengthening the Aggie family.
Q. Will there be an undergraduate distance education program?
No, there will not be any undergraduate degrees offered via a distance learning or online program. An on-campus Aggie college experience is an important part of our program. Technology however will be utilized as we incorporate hybrid-learning models into our classrooms, but these changes will enhance rather than diminish the undergraduate experience.
Q. Who will fund the initiative?
Internal resources have been allocated for instructional and facility needs.
Q. Will students have to pay more?
We are committed to providing a high-quality engineering education in a cost-effective and affordable manner.
Q. Will all engineering departments increase equally?
Not necessarily. Departmental increases will be market driven and each discipline will be carefully evaluated as we plan for growth.
Q. Are there enough classrooms and labs for 25,000 students? How will the Zachry Engineering Center change?
Our plans include the expansion of the Zachry Engineering Center into a state-of-the-art Engineering Education Complex that is 100-percent dedicated to undergraduate instruction. We are rethinking the classroom experience to accommodate today’s technology savvy students, as well as developing multidisciplinary learning centers.
Q. Does this initiative involve an increase in faculty?
In addition to growing our world-class faculty, we bring a new perspective into the classroom through a "professors of practice" program. This program brings industry leaders to the classroom to help prepare the next generation of engineers by sharing their real-world experiences in industry.
Q. Will 25 by 25 undermine our research mission of the university?
No, as a Tier 1 research university, we remain committed to our research mission and will be expanding research opportunities for our students. In fact professors of practice and tenure-track faculty will be added through this initiative in strategic research areas in order to accommodate the controlled growth plan, thus expanding our research portfolio and enhancing our research mission.
How can I help?
This initiative includes the input of numerous former students, current student leadership and industry supporters of Texas A&M Engineering.
To support the 25 by 25 initiative with your contribution, contact Andy Acker, senior director of development by email or call 979.458.4493.
We also encourage your comments, questions and involvement.
Statements of Support
Bill Flores, U.S. House of Representatives
"Texas A&M's 25 by 25 initiative is great news for the University and for the State of Texas. This dedication to increased engineering education access will aid in innovation, investigation and investment for our country; all of which will ultimately facilitate economic growth and prosperity for American families. I applaud Texas A&M University for launching this initiative and look forward to supporting its success in meeting the needs of the engineering marketplace."
Lamar Smith, U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology
"It is exciting that [Texas A&M] recognizes the importance of engineering education by setting a goal of enrolling 25,000 engineering students by 2025. The Committee on Science, Space and Technology strives to ensure science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs are adequately addressing America’s workforce needs. The plan for the 25 by 25 initiative to increase the number of engineering students will be an important step in building a stronger, technically trained workforce."
Craig C. Brown '75, president and CEO of Bray International Inc.
"We are a Texas-based company with sales and manufacturing locations in over 50 countries. As a result, we experience daily the increasing need and advantages of having a dynamic supply of engineers to fulfill the future growth potential for Texas in our global environment. Texas A&M's 25 by 25 program reflects a vision for the continued success and leadership of Texas in the future. The demand for engineers is much greater than the current supply, and will continue to grow."
Texas A&M announces initiative to increase engineering enrollment to 25,000 students
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp today (Jan. 23) announced plans for Texas A&M University to grow engineering enrollment to 25,000 students by 2025.
The 25 by 25 initiative was developed in response to the critical need to increase the engineering workforce of the state and the nation.
"Last year, more than 10,000 students applied for only 1,600 undergraduate slots available in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M, one of the top ranking public institutions for undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering," Sharp said. "And universities from other states have set up offices to recruit our top students out of Texas. As a land grant institution, we are taking measures to provide access to a high quality engineering education for more students to keep our nation competitive in the global landscape."