The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has announced that it will be offering its first engineering degree program this coming fall. The university will be just the 16th HBCUs to offer an engineering degree program.
“Engineering has a large number of mathematic courses,” said Charles Colen, chair of the department of industrial technology management and applied engineering. “That’s the first thing you have to cover, the mathematics. We have to emphasize that with this new program, mathematics is real. They have to master the mathematics.”
The university has 10 faculty members and will need three more for the program, but Dr. Colen is confident the vacancies will be filled by the time the fall semester begins. Presently, degree programs in agriculture, agriculture engineering, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics and industrial technology management, and applied engineering support classes dealing with engineering.
“The engineering program is definitely going to add a large dimension to attract other students to come here,” said O.C. Duffy Jr., a longtime instructor of civil and construction engineering and manufacturing at the university. “It’s going to feed into a lot of programs. It’s going to feed into industrial tech. It’s going to feed into mathematics, and it’s probably going to feed into computer science.”