Mesa State Announces New Partnership, New Engineering Program

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Mesa State College and University of Colorado officials came together Friday afternoon to announce a new partnership which will allow Mesa State students to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.

With the new agreement, Mesa State students will be able to receive a Bachelor's of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado, without setting a foot in Boulder.

All classes will be taught at Mesa State, with Mesa State faculty teaching students for their first two years. CU faculty will then takeover teaching more advanced courses for the last two years.

The program is set to kickoff in Fall 2008, with a class of roughly 30 students.

Friday's announcement comes in wake of a one million dollar donation to both Mesa State and CU Boulder, which will help pay for start up costs.

Mesa State President Tim Foster says this is a very exciting time for the college, and with the rapid growth in the Grand Valley and the high demand for engineers, it was the right time to create a program like this.

Foster says students are just as excited as he is, and that he received numerous phone calls about the program before it was officially announced.

Officials from the University of Colorado say the partnership is exciting for them as well.

"We think Western Colorado is growing to the point where it can support it, and I also think it's a sign of the dramatic growth and the great future at Mesa State," said Hank Brown, President of the University of Colorado.

When asked why he wasn't announcing the creation of a Mesa State engineering program, Foster said with the lengthy accrediting process, high costs, and finding teachers, Mesa State wasn't ready for its own program. He says, however, it was still important to get something started. He says since CU has an accredited program and the staff to handle something like this, this was the best way the college could create new opportunities for students on the Western Slope.

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