Bemidji State to add applied engineering degree

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State University recently received approval from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system board to begin offering a bachelor of applied science degree in applied engineering. The new program will officially begin enrolling students during the Fall 2008 semester.

As with the University’s four-year baccalaureate nursing program which began this fall, the addition of the bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree in applied engineering continues Bemidji State’s goal of responding to the educational needs of the regional, state-wide and national workforces with new program offerings.

“We received major encouragement from business and industry here in Minnesota,” Dr. Jim McCracken, director of the Center for Career and Technical Education, a professor of technological studies and primary contact for the new degree program, said. “They expressed a need for individuals with a mix of technical and engineering experience and education.

“Graduates of two-year technical programs also were very interested in further enhancing their educational credentials to improve their employment and career advancement opportunities,” McCracken added.

Bemidji State’s BAS in applied engineering is designed to compliment its existing BAS in technology management, as both are intended as degree completion programs for graduates of two-year technical colleges. While the technology management track is geared towards individuals more inclined towards personnel and project management, the applied engineering track allows for those interested in engineering activities to complete their educations as well.

The applied engineering degree will also be part of a comprehensive degree offering in industrial technology and engineering, as part of the recently-approved engineering technology program, and industrial technology to provide competitive niches for students to focus their academic pursuits.

While it is too early to provide an estimate as to the program’s expected enrollment impact on the University, the new degree program is already generating a great deal of interest across the area.

“In my 24 years here at BSU, this program has created more excitement than any other that I’ve been connected with,” McCracken said. “That includes students, faculty at two-year colleges and employers. The BAS in technology management program started over 12 years ago and is now one of the most successful and largest degree programs in the Department of Technological Studies. The BAS in applied engineering looks just as promising.”

“Because it’s designed to be delivered over the web, thanks in part to a MnSCU grant, the program will be available to anyone with Internet access,” McCracken said.

For more information, contact Jim McCracken at the Department of Technological Studies or by phone at (218) 755-2950.