Engineering students weigh in on department expansion
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 23:01
Over a quarter of the Texas A&M student body is made up of engineering majors – a testament to the prestige and stability of The Dwight Look College of Engineering. Even so, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp announced Wednesday the University’s initiative to increase engineering enrollment to 25,000 by 2025.
This “25 by 25 initiative” – which Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin in a press release declared critical due to the increasing demand for engineers in Texas and nationally – has received mixed reviews from both engineering and non-engineering majors.
Eric Rogers, a junior civil engineering major, doubts that the expansion’s feasibility would come without a significant sacrifice on the quality of education.
“I would love to see it happen, but I don't think it's possible,” Rogers said. “When increasing the enrollment that drastically, the standards and expectations of incoming freshmen would have to be lowered. And when you combine lower standards with an even more rigorous course load, it just doesn't add up.”
Similarly, senior civil engineering major Colton Hermes said he thinks the enrollment increase would take away severely from the current prestige of being accepted into the engineering school.
“I don't like it and don't know anyone who does,” Hermes said. “It makes our degrees less valuable and puts a lot more evenly qualified people in the job force competing for the same jobs, decreasing our chance at higher salaries in the future.”
Though not an engineering student herself, junior management major Traci Reece sees the value of building on A&M’s original founding as a part-engineering University.
“I know this is mainly known as an engineering school, so it does make sense that they would increase [the engineering enrollment],” Reece said. “But it is also good to make sure you focus on other things, like the business school and I know that the Liberal Arts school sometimes feels neglected.”
Daniel Macais, a junior accounting major, agreed that other department’s enrollment should be considered in addition to that of the engineering school.
“I think it’s good, as long as you increase the number of majors in other departments as well,” Macias said.
Despite some students’ hesitation to cram more people into A&M’s small college town, junior nutrition major Jennifer Daughtry was positive of Aggies’ ability adjust.
“That’s going to be a bigger deal – not having as much room on campus for people,” Daughtry said. “It will be more crowded, but I think we can adjust to that.”