Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at ACC becomes largest in Texas

A message from Shana Shaw, Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at ACC associate professor of practice:

Austin Community College (ACC), the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University (TAMU), and Chevron partnered to launch the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at ACC in fall 2017. Students admitted to the Engineering Academy begin their Aggie Engineering degree co-enrolled in the TAMU College of Engineering and at ACC.

Students make measurable progress on their bachelor's degree while completing their associate degree. After one to two years, students transition to TAMU in College Station to complete their bachelor's degree. These unique students are Aggies and Riverbats and identify as "AggieBats."

ACC enrolled the largest first-year cohort of any other Texas A&M Engineering Academy with 68 aspiring engineers in 2017. In addition to reaching female and Hispanic students — both populations underrepresented in the field of engineering — a large percentage of the students were Pell eligible with demonstrated financial need. The age range for Engineering Academy students has been 14-38 years old in the previous cohort groups.

The new fall 2020 cohort has reached 109 students and is the largest populated Engineering Academy out of all seven academies in the state.

Engineering students co-enrolled in the Engineering Academy save money each semester in tuition and fees compared to their peers enrolled full-time on the Texas A&M University campus. Texas A&M University estimates that students who remain at ACC for the first two years and live at home can save approximately $50,000 in the cost of a four-year engineering degree. This partnership is increasing access to and affordability of an engineering bachelor's degree.

The Engineering Academy provides students the opportunity to participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences supporting their acculturation to the University. Students are co-advised by ACC and TAMU engineering academic advisors and interact with peers on both the ACC and TAMU campus as well as academic advisors from the 14 departments and 22 majors in the TAMU College of Engineering. Students engage with industry and academic professionals across various companies in the Austin area and TAMU faculty from different engineering departments. The students travel as a group to tour the TAMU College Station campus, the TAMU Fischer Engineering Design Center, Zachry Engineering Education Complex, and the Student Career Center. Students participate in an annual tailgate and football game, the Engineering Career Fair, and the Engineering Project Showcase as well.

ACC is committed to providing academic pathways for our students. The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy is an example of a partnership creating these opportunities that will ultimately contribute to the Texas skilled workforce and help to reduce the shortage of engineers in Texas as well as the nation.

For more information about the program, visit the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at ACC webpage.