The generosity of individual donors and corporate partners has enabled South Georgia State College to dedicate scholarship funds to the inaugural class pursuing SGSC's new Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology (BSMET) degree. Recipients of the $2,000 first-year scholarship award will be entering freshman in the fall of 2021 who have applied and been accepted into SGSC and the BSMET program.
Designed to prepare students with a wide range of technical manufacturing design, development, operation and evaluation skills, the BSMET program will provide a concentration in engineering, mathematics and science in addition to core curriculum courses. The coursework will incorporate experiential learning opportunities through internships and hands-on training that will give students the needed experience to apply their knowledge and be prepared for the workforce.
According to the Projections Central research data (2016 – 2026) for long-term occupational employment for Georgia, Florida and Alabama, there is a projected 18.1%, 22.1% and 17.6% employment growth, respectively, for mechanical engineer technologists. This data, coupled with the need for bachelor's degree attainment among current and future employees, support the need for a BSMET academic program of study.
The national median annual wage for mechanical engineering technologists in May 2018 was $56,250, (September 4, 2019, U. S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook) making the degree even more valuable.
Local industries have fully supported the notion of SGSC offering a bachelor's degree program in mechanical engineering technology. SGSC's industry partners in Coffee and Ware counties shared that local companies will need upwards of 60 employees trained in engineering technology in the near future. Furthermore, these local industries readily estimate that an aggregate of 55-70 of their employees could enroll in such a program.
Romeo Reyes, President and CEO of Satilla Rural Electric Membership Corporation (REMC), understands and values the talent such a program can cultivate in students. "By refining the analytical and problem-solving abilities of students and complementing those talents with the knowledge of engineering and mechanics, SGSC's Mechanical Engineering Technology Program will be developing future members of the workforce with a valuable and highly desired skillset," explains Reyes. "There are many businesses and industries in our area that need employees with the specialized skills acquired through a MET program. I am excited that SGSC has taken the steps necessary to meet this need."
"At South Georgia State College, we are very fortunate to have community partners who understand and support the mission of the institution. We are able to provide this kind of financial assistance to our incoming MET class of 2025 due to this generosity," shared Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, President of South Georgia State College. "This is an absolute win-win for our students, the community and our institution. SGSC has a rich heritage of providing high quality, affordable and accessible college education to students in southeast Georgia. On behalf of the students at SGSC, thank you!"