SARASOTA, Fla. (April 21, 2016) – Months after announcing the formation of a College of Science & Mathematics, USF Sarasota-Manatee is unveiling plans for a pre-engineering program in combination with USF in Tampa.
Starting this fall, prospective students will be able to enroll in pre-engineering classes at USF Sarasota-Manatee for two years then finish their degree studies at USF in Tampa. Entitled “USF Bridge to Engineering,” this new program will offer local students the option to prepare for engineering careers where they already live and work.
“This dynamic new partnership shows the power of the USF System and how collaborative efforts can positively impact our students and their future careers,” said Judy Genshaft, USF System President. “We are excited to see this engineering partnership develop in support of our local STEM workforce.”
This addition to USFSM’s curriculum is tied to the campus’ long-range strategic plan and follows the campus’ announcement in November to create a College of Science & Mathematics by Fall 2016. Since expanding to a four-year institution in Fall 2013, USFSM has placed an emphasis on expanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to meet the evolving workforce needs of its local and regional communities.
“USF Sarasota-Manatee is committed to serving our local communities and this partnership will help fill a demand for workforce-ready students with training in science, technology, engineering and math,” USFSM Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone said. “We will continue to work with our local chambers, economic development corporations and businesses to ensure that we are keeping our local students in our region when they move on to their careers.”
The pre-engineering partnership will offer students convenient access to USF’s world-class engineering programs, keeping bright students in the Tampa Bay region to enter careers in a number of growing STEM-related fields.
“I am looking forward to welcoming the innovative and talented engineering students from USF Sarasota-Manatee into the College of Engineering,” Dean Dr. Robert H. Bishop said. “This is a natural partnership designed to provide a highly trained engineering workforce to fill much-needed local engineering and technology jobs.”
For the first two years, students will take requisite undergraduate courses at USFSM – including math, physics, chemistry and engineering – to align with USF’s mechanical engineering degree program in Tampa. Upon completion of that coursework, students will be eligible to continue their studies at USF’s College of Engineering in Tampa provided they have maintained a 2.0 overall GPA and 3.0 GPA in required calculus and physics courses.
Because the pre-engineering curriculum at USF Sarasota-Manatee will include classes tailored to engineering, along with other general studies, students accepted into the program must meet regularly with USFSM advisors for guidance in choosing requisite courses.
This new partnership represents another effort by USF Sarasota-Manatee to align its programs with community needs and broaden its academic reach through collaboration. In Fall 2014, the campus launched a biology program in partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory and it quickly became one of USFSM’s fastest-growing programs.
“This exciting program will help to fill a critical workforce need in our community,” Sharon Hillstrom, president and CEO of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, said. “Current and new businesses throughout the region can benefit from training and retaining potential engineering talent in our area.”
All pre-engineering courses at USF Sarasota-Manatee will be identical to those offered at USF in Tampa, and completion of the courses while maintaining the required GPA will guarantee admission to USF’s mechanical engineering program in Tampa.
While initially developed to align with degrees in mechanical engineering, it is hoped the Bridge to Engineering program will soon be expanded to support other engineering majors at USF in Tampa, including chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering and industrial engineering.
To learn more about Bridge to Engineering or to make an appointment with a USF Sarasota-Manatee advisor, visit www.usfsm.edu.