Mesa State College And CU-Boulder Announce Mechanical Engineering Partnership

February 22, 2008

Joint Mesa State College/CU-Boulder news release

Mesa State College and the University of Colorado at Boulder today announced a new partnership that will allow students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from CU-Boulder by taking classes delivered at Mesa State.

MSC and CU-Boulder have developed this historic partnership to bring the first-ever baccalaureate engineering degree to Colorado's Western Slope. Utilizing the outstanding faculty from both institutions, highly-qualified students will be able to attend Mesa State College in Grand Junction and earn an accredited degree in mechanical engineering from CU-Boulder.

"I think this is the most significant academic addition to Mesa State in a generation," said Mesa State President Tim Foster. "We are all about partnerships and to partner with CU in order to meet the Western Slope demand for mechanical engineers is tremendous."

CU President Hank Brown and CU-Boulder Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson joined Foster in making the announcement at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction during the Third Annual Energy Forum and Expo.

"This partnership with Mesa State is a proud moment in the life of the University of Colorado," said Brown. "The sharing of intellectual resources among our CU campuses, and in cooperation with other institutions around the state, the nation and the world, is one of the most valuable roles the university can play in the new century."

"This is a marvelous opportunity for the University of Colorado at Boulder in general, and our College of Engineering and Applied Science in particular, to reach out to a group of talented students on the Western Slope," Peterson said. "This historic partnership is entirely consistent with our Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan, and it will be a 'win-win' for all of us. I think it has fantastic benefits for the people and businesses of the Western Slope through the development of a qualified workforce and the generation of a variety of economic development projects."

Colorado Sen. Josh Penry and Reps. Bernie Buescher and Steve King also were on hand for the announcement.

"This is a wonderful example of how well partnerships can work. I think it is great that West Slope students will now have access -- without moving away -- to a degree in mechanical engineering and that Mesa State and CU are working together to meet workforce demands," King said.

The innovative partnership will allow western Colorado students access to a world-class education they may not otherwise have been able to receive by offering the entire four-year engineering degree program in Grand Junction. Cohorts of 15 to 20 students per class will matriculate through the program offered entirely on the MSC campus, receiving MSC instruction and classes their first two years and then primarily CU-Boulder coursework for their final two years.

By sharing costs, sharing faculty, and collaborating on laboratory and technology needs for a rigorous and demanding program, MSC and CU-Boulder will be able to graduate top-tier engineers ready for work in a variety of different applied professional fields, such as construction, architecture, energy development and more.

Students in the program will study with Mesa State faculty for lower-division courses beginning in fall 2008. Upper-division mechanical engineering courses will be taught by CU faculty at Mesa State beginning in fall 2010.

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