Agreement Offers Route from Engineering at CSU to Degree at Partner School

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Students enrolling in Columbus State University's engineering program now have a chance to fly high in their careers, thanks to a new partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Cody O'Shea discusses robotics.

That relationship and other aspects of Columbus State’s program will be the focus of Engineering Day Saturday, March 24 at CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center. The free event runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the center, 701 Front Ave., in Uptown Columbus.

Engineers from local companies will participate, and many will display technology related to their work. Local school groups will offer robotics demonstrations, and a representative of CSU will discuss its new robotics certification program. CSU and Embry-Riddle officials will also discuss details of its new partnership.

The arrangement allows Columbus Sate students who complete the university’s new two-year Associate of Science in engineering studies degree to complete a Bachelor of Science through the Florida-based school's satellite campus at Pratt and Whitney's Midland plant near Columbus.

This partnership benefits, in particular, employees of the industrial giant that overhauls aircraft engines in Columbus as the company offers tuition reimbursement benefits. The agreement means Embry-Riddle will recognize engineering credits earned at CSU.

Columbus State students taking engineering courses have long enjoyed success in moving from CSU to complete undergraduate bachelor's degrees in engineering at Georgia Tech. The ERAU relationship is similar, but it has an added incentive for military personnel.

“At the end of the day, it’s a win for the military because we offer an opportunity for the soldiers with another degree program,” said Mark Ridley, CSU's director of military affairs. “It’s a great thing to have for our community.”

Linda Campbell, director of academic support for Embry-Riddle’s Columbus campus, worked with Ridley to develop the new partnership.

"Mark and I saw an opportunity to create a program that would be engineering-focused on a specific area for the soldiers at Fort Benning,” Campbell said. “And getting their bachelor’s from the most highly renowned aviation and aerospace university in the world will give them many opportunities.”

The Army offers special pay incentives to officers who earn engineering degrees.

“With ROTC right on campus at CSU, their pre-engineering program will offer military students a path to accomplish a highly recognized B.S. degree with ERAU, making them more marketable," Campbell said.

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Photo: Columbus State student Cody O’Shea demonstrates one of the advanced robotics platforms used by students in CSU's new robotics certification program while standing in front of a display at CSU's Coca-Cola Space Science Center during Engineering Day on Saturday, March 24. (More Engineering Day photos.)