Texas A&M University and Tyler Junior College have launched the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at TJC and will enroll the first cohort of students in Fall 2023.
This innovative co-enrollment partnership was developed to address the state’s growing need for engineers. Qualified students will be admitted to the Texas A&M College of Engineering, complete the first two years of coursework at TJC and finish their engineering degrees in College Station, Texas. The program will accept applications for the fall through July 31.
The Texas A&M Engineering Academy at TJC allows students to pursue one of 22 majors within the College of Engineering at Texas A&M.
“The Texas A&M Engineering Academy at TJC will help outstanding students from East Texas earn an engineering degree from Texas A&M,” Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said during the launch event held Friday on the TJC central campus. “Starting their college career closer to home like this allows them to save a lot of money while earning a degree from one of the best engineering schools in the country.”
In Texas, the projected need for engineers in the workforce is 51,000 by 2028. To meet this need, universities and two-year colleges must work together to bridge the gap and attract and retain students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields.
Sharp said State Sen. Bryan Hughes was instrumental in bringing the Engineering Academy to TJC. Tyler and Smith County are part of Hughes’ 19-county Texas Senate District 1.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp speaks to TJC Apache Belle Emilee DeWolfe (far right), of Lindale, during Friday’s launch event of the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at TJC.
“About a year ago, President Banks had started one of these academies at South Texas College in McAllen, and Sen. Hughes called me up and said, ‘Why do they have one and I don’t?’” Sharp said. “So, that conversation was passed on to President Banks and they jumped at the chance to be at a place like this.”
Hughes said, “As Texas continues to grow, so does the need for well-trained and trusted engineers. The co-enrollment partnership between Tyler Junior College and the renowned Texas A&M University College of Engineering announced today demonstrates the collaboration and commitment both institutions have to a brighter future for Texas.”
“Through initiatives like the Engineering Academies, Texas A&M demonstrates its commitment to serving the needs of Texans,” said Texas A&M President M. Katherine Banks. “Not only does this program provide invaluable educational opportunities, but it also offers substantial financial benefits, with students saving an estimated $4,100 in tuition and fees each semester. The Texas A&M Engineering Academy program truly embodies innovation, affordability and excellence in engineering education."
Students in the Engineering Academy enroll in math, science and core curriculum courses through TJC and have the unique opportunity to enroll in engineering courses taught by Texas A&M faculty on the TJC central campus.
“From day one, Engineering Academy students are Texas Aggies,” said Dr. John E. Hurtado, interim vice chancellor and dean of engineering at Texas A&M. “They establish a strong sense of community in the academy that continues throughout their studies. At the end of their collegiate journey, these students will have a solid head start on their engineering careers.”
While co-enrolled at both institutions, students will have opportunities to participate in student activities and organizations at both Texas A&M and TJC to the fullest extent possible.
TJC President and CEO Dr. Juan E. Mejia speaks during the launch event for the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at TJC, held Friday on the TJC central campus.
“We believe wholeheartedly in authentic partnerships, as they are a key pillar of our strategic plan,” said TJC President and CEO Dr. Juan E. Mejia. “Texas A&M approached the College and laid out an innovative approach to this seamless pathway between our institutions — and in a high-demand field. This partnership will create even more success stories for our hard-working, deserving students, right here at home.”
Furthermore, the collaboration between Texas A&M and TJC will shape future engineers who will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the world.
“These future engineers will go out and change the world and hopefully tell the story of how opportunities like this incredible partnership between Texas A&M and TJC contributed to their professional success,” said TJC Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Deana Sheppard. “We are honored to be a part of this great endeavor that will greatly benefit the students of TJC who wish to pursue their four-year degree in engineering.”
Hughes added, “I am thankful for the leadership of Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M President Katherine Banks, and TJC President and CEO Dr. Juan E. Mejia for creating this program that will be a great blessing to our students, and Texas, for generations to come.”
For more information on how to apply and other details, go to TJC.edu/EngineeringAcademy.