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LSU Eunice Adds Pre-engineering Program

Students hoping to pursue careers in engineering fields will be able to jump-start their educations closer to home thanks to a pre-engineering program headed to Louisiana State University Eunice.

The program has been made possible by a two-year grant through the National Science Foundation and will be based on McNeese State University's (MSU) curriculum, but allow area students to begin those studies in Eunice, according to Michael Scanlan, instructor of physics and facilitator of the pre-engineering program at LSU Eunice.

"This will give our local engineering students a jump start on their education so they're not so far behind once they transfer to four-year universities," he said. "Especially if the students plan to continue their education at McNeese, this new program will be a tremendous help in their education."

Currently, the pre-engineering program will consist of three basic classes that Scanlan said most engineering students must take. The classes include Elementary Circuits, Thermodynamics One and Statics. Students will be in an LSU Eunice classroom for studies, communicating through compressed video feed with a McNeese instructor. The LSUE students will be able to communicate with the instructor, asking questions or giving answers as in any regular classroom setting. Scanlan will also be in the classroom with students should they need one-on-one assistance or help after class.

Having those three classes so close to home is a benefit to the area and local students, Scanlan said.

A 2002 Iota High School graduate, the instructor received his bachelor of science in physics at McNeese State University, then went on to receive his master of science in applied physics from Louisiana Tech in Ruston. Through his own education, Scanlan said he realizes the importance of having such sciences offered nearby.

"One problem we see with our students is that they begin taking courses here, but once they transfer, they are far behind in required engineering courses," he said. "And with so many students pursuing engineering careers, we need to prepare them at the start of their education for what they will study later on."

In fact, Scanlan said, the National Association of Colleges and Employers recently listed its top ten degrees that pay good money: eight of those involved a type of engineering degree.

"There's a broad range of opportunities with those degrees, which is why so many students are pursuing that avenue," he added. "Within the government and every major company, a variety of engineers are employed."

Scanlan said the credits for the classes will transfer to MSU without problems, and should transfer to any other university; however, due to different requirements at each university, there are some cases when a credit might not be accepted.

Scholarships are also available to help offset costs for those specific pre-engineering courses. While Scanlan said there are no specific qualifications to apply for the scholarships, he said the money would go to academically sound sophomores.

"That's because to get into the three courses, a student needs to at least successfully pass a calculus course," he explained. "So these aren't courses that a first-time freshman would have in his first or second semester."

The classes will start up this fall when LSU Eunice begins a new semester. Any student interested in the pre-engineering program is encouraged to contact Scanlan by email at