CSU Approved for New Innovative Degree in Robotics Engineering

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved today for Columbus State University to offer a new bachelor of science and master of science degrees in robotics engineering. The program could begin as early as fall 2019, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This will be a first for CSU as the university continues to prepare the technology workforce for our region.

“This is a game changer for our university, our community, and our current and future students,” said CSU President Chris Markwood. “The job outlook in robotics engineering is extremely bright, with an increasingly high demand for talent right here in the Columbus. This is yet another opportunity for us to work with local employers to train tomorrow’s workforce with the exact skills needed within our region.”

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Annual Job Outlook report consistently ranks engineering as one of the top in-demand fields in the country, with 72% of NACE survey respondents from 2014-2018 indicating their intention to employ someone with an engineering degree in the upcoming year. The need for a robotics engineering program in the region became even more apparent following the U.S. Army’s relocation of the Maneuver Center of Excellence and the U.S. Armor School to Fort Benning. Although CSU has offered an associate’s degree of science in engineering studies and a 21 credit hour robotics certificate since 2011, this will be CSU’s first full engineering degree that does not require students to transfer elsewhere before completion.

“Now engineering students will be able to stay right here at Columbus State University,” said Dr. Clinton Barineau, Chair of CSU’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences. “We will also work with community partners to provide our students with internship and job opportunities here in Columbus.”

In addition to CSU’s proximity to Fort Benning, the work of CSU’s Coca Cola Space Science Center and the university’s role as host to the GeorgiaFIRST Robotics Competition were all assets in obtaining approval for the new program. With facilities for 3D design and printing, the CCSSC has been engaged in robotics teacher training, student research programs, summer camps, competitions, and federally-funded grant activities related for more than half a decade. As host of the GeorgiaFIRST Robotics Competition, CSU has also developed valuable partnerships with Fort Benning and local employers in introducing youth to robotics opportunities.

“We pride ourselves on offering innovative education programs that ensure students are well-prepared for existing jobs in the field,” said CSU Provost Deborah Bordelon. “The new robotics engineering program will further demonstrate the crucial role that CSU plays in developing a highly-skilled workforce for industry partners regionally and nationally.” The new degrees will be housed in CSU’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, a department within the College of Letters and Sciences. Students will have the option of earning a bachelor’s degree in four years or adding an additional year to receive their master’s degree.