Utah Valley University is the largest public university in Utah. (Photo by Nathaniel Ray Edwards, UVU Marketing)

Utah Valley University Board of Trustees approved three new engineering degrees on Thursday. The new engineering programs are set to begin in fall 2018 pending approval of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The trustees anticipate the new Bachelor of Science degrees — Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering — will not only be in high demand, but will also help fill the shortage of engineers throughout the state of Utah.

“Today’s announcement marks the result of a major effort to expand engineering programs at UVU. This is a historic moment for the University,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland in a press release. “By design, these engineering degrees respond to arguably the state’s most pressing workforce need. When it comes to the STEM emphasis in higher education today, this institution already does a magnificent job in science, technology and math. Now it’s time to bring engineering into the fold as well.”

This is a historic moment for the University. By design, these engineering degrees respond to arguably the state’s most pressing workforce need. — UVU President Matthew S. Holland

While UVU already has an ABET accredited Computer Engineering degree, there were not previously other full engineering degrees. There are nearly 500 UVU students currently enrolled in the pre-engineering program at UVU. The three new programs are designed with the intent to meet ABET accreditation requirements; UVU won’t seek ABET accreditation until after the programs have their first graduates in 2020.

One of the goals of the new engineering programs is to be more engaged in the community through internships and local employment.

“The faculty, staff, and students at the College of Technology and Computing represent an outstanding community whose work makes significant contributions to the Utah Valley region and beyond,” said Saeed Moaveni, Dean of UVU’s College of Technology and Computing, in a press release. “We look forward to partnering with our community to build on the College’s distinguished history to address the growing needs of the region in engineering fields. With the current high emphasis on STEM areas, these new engineering programs allow UVU to meet the needs of both students and regional companies.”

UVU is currently the largest public university in Utah with 37,282 students enrolled for the 2017 fall semester, according to a report by the Utah System of Higher Education. The Orem university continues to expand its program and develop new buildings for its existing programs.

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