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AU leaders: Civil engineering major will enhance school's academic profile – Yahoo News

Dec. 16—ANDERSON — Officials at Anderson University are touting growth in enrollment numbers and in the stature of the school's engineering program.
Beginning next year, the program will offer a new major, boosting the university's efforts to recruit standout academic talent in the field, its leaders said.
"Our mechanical, electrical and computer engineering programs are all growing rapidly," AU President John Pistole said. "We believe this new degree will continue that trend, with outstanding faculty and staff working with students in a Christ-centered environment."
Civil engineering will be the program's sixth major offered to undergraduates, allowing them to study and solve engineering problems connected to public infrastructure, including roads, bridges, dams, levees and construction projects. Classes are expected to include field training where students will work alongside construction managers, surveyors and contractors on a variety of projects.
"We've already started to interact with companies that I think would be excited to employ our students," said Ben McPheron, chair of the physical sciences and engineering department at AU. "There are a lot of opportunities to do things in Madison County that we will be exploring as soon as we have students to show them."
McPheron said the program will be available to incoming freshmen in the fall of 2023, with the awarding of the school's first civil engineering degrees expected in the spring of 2027. He said leaders in AU's School of Science and Engineering have a goal of "about 10 to 15 students who declare civil engineering (as a major) next fall."
He added that he's heard from several students already on campus who have expressed interest in the program, possibly either to add it as a major or declare it as their area of focus.
"My guess is that some of the students we were already attracting may be thinking mechanical, but they may end up choosing civil engineering, now that it is an option," McPheron explained.
The addition of the civil engineering major adds AU to a select list of schools in the Midwest. It will make the school the only member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities in the region with that major, and the second member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference to offer civil engineering.
"This (major) is the other big piece of engineering," said Dr. Courtney Taylor, provost at AU. "We add civil to the table, this all of a sudden gives us a lot more of a selection and choice for students to take."
The program, Taylor added, aligns well with the university's mission of educating students for a life of faith and service in the church and in society.
"I think we can imagine a lot of ways that that could occur," Taylor said. "Building a bridge over a gorge so that some village can save hours of transit time to get from one place to another. … It would be exciting to say that an Anderson University graduate was the person who was there, who designed it, who built it, who was a part of that project."
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