The University of Guam Endowment Foundation has secured a $ 21.7 million loan from the US Department of Agriculture for the expansion and renovation of the student center and the construction of an engineering school.
Last year, the University of Guam unveiled an engineering program that will allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering without leaving the island. Initially, UOG engineering students began their studies at UOG, then transferred to an offshore university after two years to complete the course. Students pursuing other engineering courses must also transfer to an offshore university to complete their degrees.
Currently, the UOG Engineering School is in talks with the University of Hawaii to allow Guam students to graduate in Mechanical Engineering at UH. Talks are said to be at an advanced stage and an agreement could be unveiled soon.
To reduce the number of students traveling abroad to earn their engineering degrees, the university is preparing to build a $ 5.4 million engineering school that will host new engineering programs.
The design of the building has already been completed and its construction has reportedly been delayed due to funding issues. According to Shahram Khosrowpanah, dean of the university’s School of Engineering, construction can only begin after finding enough funds for the contractor. He added that currently the university’s engineering faculty is housed in temporary offices and shares classrooms with other departments.
The engineering faculty aims for the “ABET” certification
The new engineering school, according to Khosrowpanah, will include laboratories and will be very important in qualifying the UOG engineering program for “ABET” certification.
Although the UOG program is WASC accredited, civil engineering graduates from UOG must also be “ABET” certified to qualify to become “professional engineers”. WASC-accredited students without “ABET” certification can work as engineers, but they cannot sign any engineering projects until they become professionals. The University of Guam engineering program currently has around 230 students.
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