BU engineering to partner with UMHB

Program gives two degrees in five years

By Jade Mardirosian
Staff Writer

Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science has created a program with the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor that will allow engineering students to earn two Bachelor of Science degrees in five years.

Students will begin the Young Engineering Students (YES) program at UMHB and after three years transfer to Baylor to complete another two years of coursework.

Cindy Fry, senior lecturer and assistant dean of Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science said both schools will benefit from the program.

“This works out really well,” Fry said. “It meets UMHB’s need to have their students gain accredited engineering degrees, and it meets one of our challenges to bring in more qualified transfer students.”

Dr. Bill Tanner, chair of the department of computer science and engineering at UMHB, explains how the concept for YES program came about.

“The idea for starting the program arose naturally from our mutual desire to expand our scientific programs at UMHB and to provide quality undergraduate transfer students for Baylor University,” Tanner said.

Tanner explained that students will begin taking courses at UMHB in basics such as English, history, and religion, as well as prerequisite courses in mathematics, science, computer science and engineering, in preparation for upper-level engineering classes.

According to the agreement, “the student who progresses through the program as prescribed would receive a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Engineering Science from The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, or Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from Baylor University within five years.”

Tanner sees the program as helping to fill a need for engineers in Texas.

“There will be a shortage of engineers in Texas, and we established the YES program specifically to address that need,” Tanner said. “UMHB students who wanted to prepare for a career in engineering could not do so at UMHB. With the YES program, a major in engineering science was available for pre-engineering students who want to do their work at UMHB.”

Fry views the partnership as key to bringing in valuable additions to Baylor’s student body.

“We are looking for quality transfer students and are looking to increase the number of qualified students who will finish with a bachelor’s degree and perhaps even stay for some graduate work,” Fry said. “We would love to get more students involved in research as undergrads and having highly qualified juniors and seniors coming into our program gives us a much wider population to look at.”

Fry said the program will be especially positive for Baylor’s School for Engineering and Computer Science and is looking forward to the partnership.

“This is the first time we’ve had something that brings the two campuses back together. UMHB shares a lot of the same mission and objectives that Baylor does, so this is exciting,” Fry said. “I see this opening up future possibilities in collaborative teaching and research. We are close enough that we could share industrial partners, so who knows what this will be the start of.”

Students will begin matriculating to Baylor beginning next fall, with about 16 students already planning to transfer.