Electrical engineering major sent for approval

The Shippensburg University council of trustees approved a proposal to add a new Bachelors of Science degree in electrical engineering last Friday.

The Board of Governors for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must also approve the proposal before SU can officially offer the program to students. The state system staff is expected to review it Oct. 8.
“We anticipate a favorable review,” Barbara Lyman, chief academic officer of SU said, referring to the proposal’s final hurdle as it moves on to the state level.

If the approval process goes according to plan, students can sign up for the new bachelor’s program for the fall semester in 2015.

The electrical engineering program will train students in semiconductor design, mixed-signal embedded systems, industrial controls and communications system engineering.

The program was designed to meet the standards of the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) and because of that, an array of classes in computer science, computer engineering, mathematics and physics were selected for the major.

To meet the standards of EAC, four new classes will be offered at SU that will fall into the new electrical engineering category.

One of the major reasons for the addition of the program to SU is because of the current shortage of trained electrical engineers in Pennsylvania, Lyman said.

In the 56-page proposal presented to the Council of Trustees it states that “Pennsylvania is expected to see a 9.2 percent increase in the demand for Electrical Engineers” from 2010 to 2020. Currently, there are 317 open positions for electrical engineers.

Allegheny, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties are the respective top three counties with unfilled positions.

SU would be the only school that is a part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) that has any engineering programs, if the program is approved.

A computer engineering program was added in the fall of 2011, making it the first engineering program that SU acquired. One year later, software engineering became the second engineering program. Electrical engineering is expected to be the third.

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