San Angelo, Texas — Angelo State University, a member of the Texas Tech University System, was awarded a five-year, $2.87 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to support implementation of ASU’s proposed new civil engineering program. The grant has been awarded under the USDE’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions program for a cooperative project between ASU and Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) in Uvalde that is titled “Strengthening the Engineering Pipeline in West Texas” (STEP West Texas).

The proposed new Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.) degree in ASU’s Department of Physics and Geosciences was approved in May by the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents. It now awaits final approval this fall by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges.

At ASU, grant funds would be utilized to hire faculty and provide infrastructure for the new program upon its final approval. The project director at ASU will be Brandy Hawkins, director of budget, planning and policy for the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

SWTJC would utilize grant funding to implement an Associate of Science in Engineering Sciences (A.S.E.S.) degree. Under the new program, SWTJC students would be able complete the A.S.E.S. degree, which includes a summer program at ASU, and then transfer to ASU to complete a B.S.C.E. degree.

The initial goal of the cooperative agreement would be to have at least 100 students earn their A.S.E.S. at SWTJC and transfer into ASU’s B.S.C.E. program by 2019.

“Receiving this grant for our proposed new civil engineering program is definitely a step in the right direction,” said ASU President Brian J. May. “Right now, we are focused on gaining final approval for the program by THECB and SACS so we can move forward with what will be an exciting addition to our academic offerings.”

Concurrent with the engineering program’s approval by the TTUS Board of Regents, ASU received a $4.5 million gift from an anonymous donor to fund construction of a new facility to house the labs for civil engineering. Pending final approval of the program by THECB and SACS, groundbreaking for the new facility is tentatively scheduled for next summer.