State University of New York: Stony Brook recently unveiled a 100% online Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE). The program will be available on the Open SUNY online education platform.

This rare breed of online degree aims to help working individuals who have already completed the first two years of a “pre-engineering program”, i.e. those with an Associate’s degree. The program will include special support programs for working adults who may have been out of school for a while to help them complete their coursework and receive their degree.


Wendy Tang, Program Director.

 “Most of our students are working professionals, often with family, seeking career advancement. The schedule flexibility of the program offers these individuals an opportunity to earn a bachelor degree in electrical engineering while working full time and supporting a family” said Wendy Tang, Program Director.

For example, Roger Alford keeps busy designing medical devices for a living. He is also a father of three. He said, “I studied electrical engineering at the University of Michigan for a few years starting in 1978. Due to personal circumstances I was unable to complete my degree at that time. I have always wanted and intended to finish my degree but this proved impractical once I had a family and had to work full time.

Not having a degree limited my career options, especially in the early years. I have been fortunate to have been able to work as an Engineer throughout my career… I was very excited when I discovered the new online BSEE completion program at Stony Brook. This is exactly what I needed to be able to finish my degree around my work schedule.”

Though the BSEE has the support of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SUNY and was approved as a degree program by the State of New York, it has yet to acquire ABET (Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology) accreditation. This might be an issue for those seeking engineering licenses in certain jurisdictions, especially as the BSEE’s ABET status will remain pending until the first cohort of students graduate. The program is confident, however, and expects successful accreditation.

“We have requested an ABET accreditation on-site visit in Fall 2014. If the program successfully receives accreditation, the decision is expected to be retroactive to the first class of graduates. Students graduated prior to the ABET accreditation visit are expected to receive the benefits of ABET accreditation,” adds Dr. Tang.

Students will have access to courses in C Programming, Electrical Circuit Analysis, Object Oriented Programming, Signals & Systems, Engineering Ethics, Electronics, Electromagnetics, Power Systems, Electric Machinery and much more.

Forrest Kimbriel, class of 2015 and automation technician at Chevron production says, “The labs are great.  Engineering circuits on breadboards was an exciting time. Though I have not completed the program, so far I have learned a great deal about circuit design, semiconductor design, and probability theory. And I’m really excited about my senior project next year! I really enjoy how well the courses are structured and the ability to compete the courses on schedule and on my own time.”

For acceptance, students must have a 3.0 GPA with a grade of C or higher in all prerequisites. Conditional acceptance is available, however, for students that do not meet the full list of requirements but are otehrwise well prepared for further study.

Tuition ranges from $250 to $750 per credit. To graduate, students must complete 120 credits comprised of prerequisite, core, elective and subject-based courses. At $30,000+, however, it is certainly a pricy investment for an online degree.

Source Jane Bartnett, Chancellor's Office; Wendy Tang, Program Director; SBU

 

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