With more and more engineering and technology businesses flocking to the Lowcountry, the economic landscape continues to evolve. Now Charleston, once known for carriage rides and house tours, is making a name for itself among big businesses. And with that evolution comes a need for more engineers and technology professionals.
Enter The Citadel.
America’s fifth oldest engineering school has more than doubled its graduate programs. With more programs and new facilities, The Citadel is attracting an impressive pool of students from across the country. And it’s not just students interested in the military either—an expanding curriculum of evening undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs is available for students and professionals interested in a civilian program.
“The expansion of programs being offered by The Citadel School of Engineering means more and more engineers who are trained to the highest professional and ethical standards will be readily available to support South Carolina’s burgeoning industries,” said Ron Welch, dean of the School of Engineering.
For the past six years, The Citadel has been rated the No. 1 regional public university and the No. 1 value in the South by U.S. News & World Report. The School of Engineering has been rated 13th in the nation for colleges that offer up to master’s degrees, right behind the four service academies and some of the top private colleges in the nation.
People are noticing. Enrollment in the engineering program has nearly doubled during the last five years.
For Lowcountry residents, an evening program offers the opportunity for development—both personal and community-wide. Responding to the growing need for engineers from the likes of Boeing, The Citadel offers returning students a path to a degree in high demand. Graduates of Trident Tech and other two-year colleges can earn bachelors’ degrees in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering at night in another two years—known as “2+2” programs. Students on campus for the evening program, most of them already working full-time, take courses in a completely civilian environment.
The School of Engineering offers four master’s degree programs—civil, electrical and mechanical engineering as well as project management. In addition, there are 13 graduate certificates for professionals who want to excel in a specialized area in a short period of time. Certificates range from specific topics such as transportation to manufacturing.
“We have two PhDs working for Boeing who are working towards their masters’ in project management,” said Welch. “They say they can use the information they’re learning right now.”
The evening classes have been a boon to thousands of individuals of all kinds. Welch says two of the engineering students are in their 50s, one of whom entered The Citadel 30 years ago but dropped out and is finishing his degree alongside a classmate’s son. It doesn’t really matter who you are; if you want to enhance your skills and you earn admission, there’s a place for you at The Citadel.
“We’re here to educate anyone,” said Welch. “Come see us and we’ll help you achieve your goals.”