Under budget and ahead of schedule, the Ingram School of Engineering at Texas State University is set to offer junior and senior-level courses in electrical engineering and will be prepared to graduate its first students in that major by the spring semester of 2011.
Funding for the startup of the program was due in large part from a $3.7 million gift from Bruce and Gloria Ingram. Approval for the program was given by the Texas Education Coordinating Board in October 2007, from which the university brought on board three new faculty members to begin work.
“We were right on schedule this fall,” said Harold Stern, director of the Ingram School of Engineering. “There was good support from upper administration and outstanding help from our staff.”
With further support from corporate sponsors, the new facilities–occupying the fifth floor of the Roy F. Mitte Technology and Physics building–include three, 24-seat classrooms with 12 lab stations along with a computer lab and offices, all of which are stocked with the latest in electrical engineering equipment, hardware and software.
The electrical engineering program is already displaying popularity amongst students and Stern expects it to grow substantially in the coming years. At the onset of the 2008 school year, about 74 students had signed on for the major when only 25 were expected. The higher than expected number of students reflects the need for engineers in the market.
“Our students are coming aboard without any prompting,” Michael Casey, a new faculty hired for the program, said. “It’s a testament for the demand and for the reputation of Texas State.”
He added that they will be increasing efforts for recruiting and that with the new equipment, facilities and faculty, they will be more competitive with other institutions and programs nation-wide.
“This is part of a progressive program to expand the entire engineering department,” Stern said.