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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Innovation 2014

Growing Programs to Meet Demand

Everett sees its first graduates

WSU Everett Mechanical Engineering graduates

The first 23 students in Washington State University’s mechanical engineering program at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett received their diplomas this spring at a graduation dinner and induction ceremony into the Order of the Engineer, a professional engineering association.

The program, which allows students to complete a WSU mechanical engineering degree while taking classes on the Everett Community College campus, came about as part of a state initiative to increase the number of engineering and computer science students and graduates. The program addresses two major concerns for the state by providing more affordable and accessible higher education options for students and more engineers who are critically needed for the state’s economy.

“We are so proud of the efforts of our first WSU graduates,” said Paul Pitre, dean of WSU North Puget Sound at Everett. “Because they were able to get their engineering degrees right here in Everett, they can make a real difference to our local industries and positively contribute to the workforce in this region.”

Interest in the WSU program has been growing rapidly. Last year, 50 students applied for 30 openings. This year there were 72 applicants. Five of the graduating seniors were hired as mechanical engineers by local or regional employers.

Earlier this year, the Washington Legislature appropriated $10 million for the design of a new facility on the campus. The legislature has also provided support to increase the number of faculty and students in engineering and computer science.

WSU has been given management and leadership responsibilities at the Everett campus with a focus on programs in science, technology, engineering, and math. A program in electrical engineering also got under way this fall.

The mechanical engineering program includes a combination of Everett- and Pullman-based faculty with courses originating both from Everett and the Pullman campus. Students follow WSU’s semester system and pay WSU tuition rates.

Several classes are broadcast via video from Pullman, and students are required to take some laboratory classes on the Pullman campus during the summers. Upon graduation, they will have fulfilled WSU mechanical engineering degree requirements. There is a similar mechanical engineering program at Olympic College in Bremerton.