Representatives of Victoria College and Texas A&M University-Kingsville pose during the May 17 signing of a memorandum of agreement for joint admission for students pursuing engineering degrees.
Victoria College and Texas A&M University-Kingsville signed a five-year memorandum of agreement on May 17 to establish a proactive educational partnership by offering students pursuing an engineering degree joint admission and reverse transfer opportunities.
Officials from both institutions finalized details on a collaborative effort to provide Victoria College students an opportunity to obtain degrees in mechanical, chemical and electrical engineering by taking a combination of general education and lower-division engineering courses at VC before they move on to Texas A&M-Kingsville to complete their upper-division work.
“I am very excited to be a part of this new engineering alliance,” said Dr. Deborah Pedraza, associate professor of mathematics at VC. “Victoria College and Texas A&M-Kingsville are leaders in innovative education, and are changing the future of college education. This partnership aligns with local industry needs by offering a high-quality education that will allow students a transparent transition to this four-year university and on into the workplace.”
Texas Workforce Commission projections estimate a 25-percent increase in engineering jobs over the next seven years.
“This will not only benefit the students, but the communities of the Coastal Bend,” Texas A&M-Kingsville President Dr. Mark Hussey said. “One of the things that I always hope to see from these agreements is that it really starts to build more collaboration among our faculties as they work together to develop innovative teaching methods and solve some of the big challenges that we face.”
The Joint Admission Program will enable students to identify themselves as students of both institutions prior to a change in a physical campus location. Students will have access to additional facilities and programs offered by both schools that will enhance student success and provide a more seamless transition between the two institutions.
“Part of our work as a community college is responding to local industry needs,” said Victoria College President Dr. Jennifer Kent. “Since arriving in Victoria, I have heard repeatedly about the shortage of engineers in our region. The solution is clear – let’s grow our own. With this partnership, engineering students will be able to stay close to home for the first two years of their education, saving them thousands of dollars and providing them with small class sizes, caring faculty and staff, and one-on-one tutoring. It’s an exciting day for Victoria College and the future engineers walking the halls of our local high schools.”
The reverse transfer will permit students who have enrolled at Texas A&M-Kingsville prior to completing an associate degree at Victoria College an opportunity to transfer course work from Texas A&M-Kingsville back to VC to complete the associate degree.
“This is a wonderful agreement,” said Dr. Lou Reinisch, Texas A&M-Kingsville provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It puts students first and gives them new opportunities.”
Photo caption: Pictured from left are Cindy Buchholz, VC executive vice president – chief academic officer; Dr. Jennifer Kent, VC president; Dr. Mark Hussey, Texas A&M-Kingsville president; and Dr. Lou Reinisch, Texas A&M-Kingsville provost and vice president for academic affairs.