U of I and ECC work to pave the way for aspiring engineers


Hadley Corbett

Students at ECC taking a class under the instruction of Associate Professor of Physics Ted Eltzroth

Hadley Corbett, Staff Writer

Elgin Community College has a new partnership with the University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering in Urbana-Champaign. Students first need to be accepted into ECC and it’s Engineering Pathways program. If students are accepted into the program at ECC, they then follow the suggested four-semester plan of study, earn a B grade or better in each of the courses, maintain a 3.5 GPA and meet regularly with their advisors, they’re guaranteed admission into the Grainger College of Engineering.

ECC’s Engineering Pathways program is unique because it maps out a plan for secured admittance into a highly selective Illinois college and has many different Engineering major options at the university. 

“What makes Engineering Pathways such an amazing opportunity is that in addition to significant cost savings, major exploration, and being connected to staff, support resources, and events on both campuses, students…are offered a spot in one of the top-ranked engineering programs in the country,” said Keri Niehans, the Assistant Director for Transfer Programs at Grainger College of Engineering.

Roughly 90% of Engineering Pathway students will go into their first or second choice departmental major, including aerospace engineering, civil engineering, computer science, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering or others. 

Director of Transfer Services at ECC Sean Jensen helps prepare transfer materials to assist students with their future plans.

“We want to build a transfer plan for those students that are doing well and [are] successful, but now… want that bachelor’s degree,” Jensen said. “So we build…partnerships with four-year institutions to provide…options to students.”

With the completion of a traditional Associate of Engineering Sciences degree from ECC, a transfer plan can be made, yet when applying for a program, such as Grainger, acceptance would be uncertain. 

Applications deadlines for starting fall of 2020 are in this upcoming spring. For more information meet with a UIUC engineering representative at College Night, Oct. 1, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., contact your academic advisor or visit https://pathways.engineering.illinois.edu/.

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