SNHU announces new engineering program
MANCHESTER — Southern New Hampshire University officials announced plans to offer four-year engineering degrees with high-powered management starting this fall and a new building plan.
The new College of Engineering, Technology and Aeronautics (CETA) will offer course study in aeronautical engineering, aviation management, electrical and computer engineering, air traffic management and mechanical engineering, officials said.
“SNHU has long been committed to building degree programs and educational pathways to meet the workforce needs of our time, and we are thrilled to expand opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to help our students get the education and skills they need to be successful,” said Paul LeBlanc, SNHU’s president.
“The College of Engineering, Technology and Aeronautics continues and extends SNHU’s national role in providing equity and access to affordable, high-quality engineering degree programs that will meet the needs of each student.”
James Smith, former United States ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, has been named to lead the new college. He is also a graduate of the Naval War College, the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College.
“I am honored to join SNHU in this new role to help develop and expand access to high-quality engineering and aeronautic programs to students in the region,” Smith said.
“SNHU is constantly challenging the status quo when it comes to innovation and education.”
The school plans to open a new state-of-the-art engineering facility in 2019. While that building is being built, the university will convert warehouse space on campus into fully-equipped labs and classrooms.
LeBlanc said a priority for the new program is to provide more access for minority and women students to gain degrees in STEM fields.
Nationally, women make up only 13 percent of all engineering graduates and minorities make up 25 percent of all students.
He pointed out that there are 1,180 open engineering positions in New Hampshire’s economy, yet only 502 students from New Hampshire graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering during 2014-15.
SNHU hopes to expand engineering education to local K-12 students as well, with the state’s first Challenger Learning Center.