Illinois College now offering engineering degrees

Illinois College now offering engineering degrees

Illinois College now is offering engineering students the opportunity to earn a four-year degree.

The college announced Nov. 15 that it will expand its engineering program so students can finish their degrees on campus. Graduates also will be prepared to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam so they can begin the process of becoming a licensed engineer.

IC also is pursuing credentials from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which it expects to be completed by 2026.

Students who are sophomores this year are on track to earn their degree at the school, because they only begin taking upper-level engineering classes during their junior year. Previously, engineering majors spent two years at IC before transferring to another school. This pathway still will be available to students who want it.

Josiah Kunz, an assistant professor of physics at IC, said the school noticed an upward trend in students who potentially were interested in engineering and had applied to the school but did not attend.

“We think it’s because they want a four-year engineering degree,” he said. “It’s fewer moving pieces and they get to stay here when they make friends or play sports or whatnot.”

IC wanted to expand the engineering program to better provide for its students and the community, Kunz said. Larger institutions also may not be as equitable, asking students to be prepared for classes they did not have the opportunity to take in high school, he said. IC wants to make a curriculum where students could “come in with pre-calculus and be okay,” Kunz said. “You don’t have to be ready for Calculus 2.”

The school is in the process of hiring an engineering professor, with plans for another one to be brought on within the next five years, Kunz said. There will also be space for engineering in IC’s Crispin Hall once its renovations are complete, he said, and IC is looking to purchase more engineering equipment for that space.

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