The University of Guam will offer a new four-year Bachelor of Science in Civil-Engineering degree program starting in Fall 2019, UOG announced Thursday. The new degree was approved by the Board of Regents on Wednesday and stems from the two-year pre-engineering program currently offered by the university.

"The availability of an engineering degree here in Guam will meet growing demand among prospective students as well as a chronic need for engineers in the workforce in Guam and the Western Pacific," said Shahram Khosrowpanah, dean of the School of Engineering.

Enrollment in the program has grown with an almost 20-percent increase since the last semester. As of December 2018, the program has 159 declared pre-engineering majors, stated the release.

"We are excited to now be realizing what was originally the vision of President Emeritus Robert Underwood in 2009 – a four-year accredited engineering degree program at UOG," said UOG President Thomas Krise. "Our School of Engineering is the only engineering program in the Western Pacific, and we are proud that students can now not only start, but finish, a first-class engineering program close to home."

Pre-engineering program

The two-year program, which launched in 1989, sets students up to then enroll in a school offering a four-year engineering program. UOG has cooperative agreements with the University of Iowa and the Mapua Institute of Technology in the Philippines, which are both accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Graduating from an ABET-accredited school is required in order to take the professional engineering exam and gain licensure.

"Now, civil engineering students can earn a four-year degree at UOG, while students pursuing other engineering fields can still avail of the two-year pre-engineering program in preparation for another school," the release states. The school hopes to expand the program to offer other engineering degrees needed on Guam and in the region.

UOG's School of Engineering is following requirements for its four-year program to become ABET accredited. The program's facilities and course materials are designed to be in accordance with ABET standards.

$5.4M construction project

A new 16,000-square-foot building expected to be completed in February 2020 will house the engineering school located next to the Agriculture and Life Sciences building on campus. The $5.4 million structure was designed by David Hurchanik Architect LLC and is being constructed by Bascon Corp. It will include three classrooms; hydraulics, soil and structure, and environmental engineering laboratories; a computer lab; and faculty office space.

The school has six full-time and one part-time faculty with expertise in each of the basic civil and environmental engineering fields.

The first two students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Civil-Engineering from the University of Guam are set to graduate in 2020.