Fairfield University's School of Engineering forms academic alliances with community colleges that pave the way for graduates to earn bachelor degrees


New academic alliances between Fairfield University's School of Engineering and seven community colleges will give community college graduates with an A.S. in engineering science the option of transferring their science and engineering credits to Fairfield, paving the way to a B.S. in engineering in a minimal amount of time. Those credits can account for nearly half of the 134 credits required for a B.S. in engineering.

The community colleges that have joined the academic alliance are Gateway Community College, Housatonic Community College, Manchester Community College, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Norwalk Community College, Three Rivers Community College, and SUNY Westchester Community College.

The alliances enable students to complete the degree program in as little as two or three years. Students can pursue a degree on a full-time or part-time basis in electrical, mechanical, computer, automated manufacturing (concentration within mechanical engineering) or software engineering. All bachelor's degree programs have been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Two $2,500 scholarships are awarded annually to community college students who transfer. For more information and details on scholarships and financial aid, call the School of Engineering at (203) 254-4147, or visit www.fairfield.edu/engineering. Evangelos Hadjimichael, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering, said that the School's mission includes helping transfer students academically, professionally and personally, evidenced by the School's extensive internship opportunities, tutorial program, and career planning services. "Our students graduate with a strong foundation of critical and technical skills, real world experience, a commitment to professional development and a profound awareness of the implications of their work."

Bill Taylor, Ph. D., associate dean, said the well-rounded Jesuit education makes Fairfield engineering graduates in high demand. "We receive many inquiries from companies interested in hiring our students. Recently, they have included medical device companies, the manufacturing sector such as the aerospace industry, and the financial industry. The average annual starting salary for a Fairfield engineering graduate is about $52,000."

The School's faculty comprises a focused community of practicing engineers who believe that engineering isn't simply a set of discrete skills but a way of looking at the world. The faculty assists in transforming their students into professional engineers. They employ hands-on teaching techniques, including in-class projects and computer simulations. Class sizes are kept small so that students have the opportunity to work closely with their professors and classmates.

Another important feature of the Fairfield program is the placement of students in paid internships. Learning in the classroom is reinforced in state-of-the-art laboratories, which are upgraded annually with sophisticated instrumentation, along with an extensive collection of engineering texts and journals, and updated software tools. Faculty staffs the School's tutorial center, open on weekday evenings, and offers students personalized guidance and academic support. Career counseling is offered at the University's Career Planning Center.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 7, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 105