ASU Fulton Schools graduate first online engineering management students
Two students became the first ever graduates from the four-year online B.S.E. program in engineering management in May. Photographer: Hayden Taylor/ASU.
The first two students from the four-year online B.S.E. program in engineering management graduated from Arizona State University in May.
The students are not only the first ever online graduates in engineering management of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, but possibly the first from any major engineering program, with all four years of education provided online, in the United States
The online version of the engineering management undergraduate program is identical to the version available on campus. Students complete the same classes, assignments and exams.
“The online bachelor’s degree in engineering management has provided access to an engineering education for many people who otherwise could not achieve such a goal,” said Daniel McCarville, professor of practice in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering. “Most of our online engineering students work and have families. Many are in the U.S. Armed Forces and are stationed all over the world. An online education is their only option, and now they can earn this degree through our highly ranked Fulton Schools of Engineering.”
James Mbewa, one of the two inaugural graduates of the program, started his ASU career on campus as a full-time student in the aerospace engineering program from 2001-05, but was unable to complete his degree due to extenuating circumstances.
“In late 2012 I was able to gain re-admission at ASU, and able to continue working towards completing my undergraduate engineering degree through ASU Online,” Mbewa said.
The switch in majors worked out for Mbewa, as it matched well with his current role as a power facility project development analyst at TransCanada Energy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In his work as an analyst he supports the power business development managers in developing projects from inception until they are ready for construction.
“The flexibility that comes along with online learning allows me to easily fit my studies in my day-to-day schedule while at the same time being able to go to work and participate in other activities,” Mbewa said. “Time management becomes very critical. Thus, online learning has greatly helped me improve in time management. I am thankful for being able to complete my undergraduate engineering degree at ASU. It is has been a long haul with many lessons learned along the way.
The online engineering management B.S.E. program was launched in the fall of 2012 and has grown to approximately 170 students today.
In 2013, the electrical engineering and software engineering programs launched their online programs, as well, and both quickly grew to several hundred students.
“Hopefully other engineering degree programs will be launched soon,” McCarville said. “We can either be leaders in online engineering education or followers. Fulton Engineering prefers to be the leader.”
Erik Wirtanen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering