The joint general engineering program ETSU has with Tennessee Technological University kicked off last semester and is already off to a steady start.

Program coordinator J. Paul Sims and Keith Johnson, ETSU’s Engineering Technology, Surveying and Digital Media department chair said the program is in its second semester with 22 students currently enrolled.

While students began taking classes last semester, the official course rotation will begin this upcoming fall, and students who graduate from this program will receive a joint diploma from ETSU and Tech.

“Not all of them are taking engineering classes yet,” Sims said. “They may be taking science and math, general studies.”

The one hour time difference between ETSU and Tech has posed some challenges, but Johnson and Sims said they were able to overcome that struggle by scheduling separate lab times.

ETSU students take classes with students at Tech via video conference. Thankfully, both institutions have an equal amount of qualified faculty to assist students.

Tech also uses D2L, so classes are able to communicate through discussion boards on the site

Once this first class of students graduates, the program will seek accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

The program is already accredited through Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

To qualify for the bachelor’s of science program as an incoming freshman, students are required to have a 3.0 GPA and at least a 20 ACT composite score and a 22 math subscore. Transfer students are required to have a 2.0 GPA, excluding credit for remedial/developmental courses.

“Being not admitted is not the end of the world,” Sims said. “You can work on your math, your science and bring those up and reapply.”

Johnson added that if acceptance to this engineering program doesn’t work out, there are other engineering programs offered that might work out better for the student.

“They could very well get into engineering technology, which has a little less of a math requirement and science requirement,” he said.

The program is actively searching for local industries, companies and businesses to partner with.

“Right now, we’re trying to find more industry partners,” Sims said. “We’re trying to figure out how this fits in the community.”

For more information about the program, visit