“Aggieland North” is taking root in Fort Worth as Texas A&M announced on Friday a partnership with Tarrant County College to open a new engineering academy this fall.
Unlike other community college programs where students must compete to transfer to a four-year university, program participants will automatically be dual enrolled in both Texas A & M’s and Tarrant Community College.
This allows them to seamlessly transition to courses at Texas A&M main campus in College Station after completing basic engineering courses at Tarrant Community College south campus.
It’s also a more affordable way to earn an engineering degree, a spokesperson for Texas A&M said. The university estimates that students can save up to $ 4,200 per semester in tuition and fees.
About 30 Tarrant County College students will have the opportunity to take basic engineering courses from Texas A&M faculty starting this fall.
“I wouldn’t be here without a community college,” said John Hurtado, dean of Texas A&M engineering college. He described how a community college advisor helped him navigate the unfamiliar world of academia that set him on his way to a career in aerospace engineering.
“I know those people are here in Tarrant County and I know that today’s students still need that help,” Hurtado said.
Isabel Garcia, a former student of Saginaw Boswell High School, attended a Texas A&M engineering academy similar to Dallas College. She said the program offered her a convenient entry point into higher education at a time when she lacked the resources to attend a four-year college.
She joked about her trepidation about having to travel to take a course in Dallas, which she called “the forbidden lands,” but said the program helped her get used to A&M’s rigorous course load and prepared her to finish. his degree in electrical engineering at the Stazione del Collegio.
Garcia said she would benefit from having an academy program closer to home, but said she was excited about the impact this program would have on the academy’s next cohort of students.
His brother, a high school student, was inspired by his experience to explore a career in computer engineering, Garcia said.
“I am just so excited that he will have an opportunity that will be far less stressful than the one I had to go through to pursue his engineering career,” he said.
Fort Worth city council member Carlos Flores, himself an aerospace engineer, wrote in an email that the program offers students the opportunity to enter “the exciting and competitive field of engineering.”
“The need for engineers in various fields continues to be a local and national concern. Efforts like this will go a long way to meet this need, “Flores wrote.
The partnership is part of a larger Texas A&M effort to establish a foothold in Fort Worth, Chancellor John Sharp said Friday.
“We realized very soon after we put the law school in that Fort Worth is our kind of city,” Sharp said.
In November 2021, the university announced that it was building a top-tier university research campus around the site of its law school at 1515 Commerce St.
The new A&M center campus will house a research and innovation center, which Sharp says will match the growth of Fort Worth, expand its employment base in industrial manufacturing, and make the city a center of research in emergency communications, biomedical research and in nutrition science.