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Spirit is published three times per year by the Texas A&M Foundation, which manages major gifts and endowments for the benefit of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Texas A&M University.

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The Big Shift: 10 Ways Aggie Engineering is Breaking New Ground

By Jeannie Ralston

THE BIG SHIFT: 10 WAYS AGGIE ENGINEERING IS BREAKING NEW GROUND

On the north end of campus, you can’t miss it: a mammoth yet sleek structure of glass and steel. It’s the Zachry Engineering Education Complex, the 525,000-square-foot edifice that has, even before its opening, become a symbol of the College of Engineering.

In the same part of campus, there’s something hovering in the air. Something you can feel but can’t quite see—though it’s every bit as real as the Zachry complex. An energy, a buzz, an almost breathtaking sense of progress at the College of Engineering. Student retention is increasing. Dorm space is being renovated and added. Highly sought-after professors are being hired at an astonishing rate. Students are gaining new opportunities to travel internationally, broaden their knowledge of the real world and create their own paths through “build your own” interdisciplinary majors. The college is fervently pursuing partnerships with other colleges on campus, other learning institutions and various businesses.

The Zachry Engineering Education Complex

The Zachry Engineering Education Complex, a 525,000-square-foot glass and steel structure, will open its doors in fall 2018.

"We are at a pivotal moment in our history, a nationally recognized transformation in engineering education."

Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering

Texas A&M graduate students collect physiological signals while completing a stress-inducing game on a tablet.

Texas A&M graduate students collect physiological signals while completing a stress-inducing game on a tablet. The sensors are measuring skin conductance and pulse information.

At the core of this transformation is an initiative called “25 by 25.” The name suggests that the emphasis is on numbers, since the plan is to increase the number of engineering students from 19,400 (current enrollment) to 25,000 by 2025. But it’s about much more than quantity.

The 25 by 25 effort, which has wide support from former students and industry, is guided by three principles. One is to enhance engineering education, which will help increase retention among other benefits. “We want to produce students who are better prepared through state-of-the-art instruction from top-notch faculty,” she said. The second goal is to increase access, in large part by reaching out to qualified but traditionally overlooked students.

“We can’t keep growing as a state and not provide greater access to high-quality engineering education,” she noted. And Banks is determined to accomplish this in an affordable, efficient way. “We’re not going to develop extensive plans for enhancing engineering education and say, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re going to double tuition to pay for it.’ That’s not going to happen. We will work within our current budget.”

These principles— education enhancement, access and efficiency —underpin the 10 key advancements outlined below, all of which offer opportunities for former students and businesses to participate in the groundbreaking revitalization of one of the most prestigious colleges of engineering in the country.

Slide 1

01

Construct a Center for Digital Natives

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Slide 2

02

Increase Support for First-Generation Students

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Slide 3

03

Recruit More Qualified Students

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Slide 4

04

Reimagine the Faculty

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Slide 5

05

Get Out of the Classroom

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Slide 6

06

Get Way Outside the Classroom

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Slide 7

07

Grow Engineering Leaders

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Slide 8

08

Create Innovative Degree Programs

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Slide 9

09

Increase Collaboration with Other Texas A&M Colleges

View More
Slide 10

10

Apply Cutting-Edge Engineering Technologies in the Medical Field

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Back to the Start

Slide 1

01

Construct a Center for Digital Natives

View More
Slide 2

02

Increase Support for First-Generation Students

View More
Slide 3

03

Recruit More Qualified Students

View More
Slide 4

04

Reimagine the Faculty

View More
Slide 5

05

Get Out of the Classroom

View More
Slide 6

06

Get Way Outside the Classroom

View More
Slide 7

07

Grow Engineering Leaders

View More
Slide 8

08

Create Innovative Degree Programs

View More
Slide 9

09

Increase Collaboration with Other Texas A&M Colleges

View More
Slide 10

10

Apply Cutting-Edge Engineering Technologies in the Medical Field

View More

Back to the Start

Contact:

Jay Roberts '05

Assistant Vice President for Development
College of Engineering