Northeastern State University will start a new bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering to help meet Oklahoma’s workforce challenges.
Debbie Landry, NSU provost and vice president of academic affairs, said there is a growing demand for mechanical engineers to help the state fill in-demand jobs.
She added the occupation plays a role in nearly every aspect of modern life and has been identified by Oklahoma Works, the state’s workforce development initiative housed in the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, as a critical occupation.
According to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, employment for mechanical engineers is projected to rise across Oklahoma by 6.2% and to grow in the Tulsa metropolitan area by 7.11% between 2018 and 2028.
The university plans to welcome the first cohort of mechanical engineering majors at NSU this fall, adding the institution has begun the enrollment process, Landry said.
“Students can expect a quality, well-developed curriculum that will be rigorous yet rewarding,” she said.
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Pamela Hathorn, dean of the Gregg Wadley College of Science & Health Professions, said adding a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering degree has been a work in progress for many years.
She said when the university developed its applied physics degree this was the beginning of eventually building out to offering an engineering degree.
Landry said some current NSU applied physics majors are even considering changing majors.