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College of Engineering launches its first dual enrollment program

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Fifteen high school students from the David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy will study engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette this fall.

They will also make history. The students are participating in the UL Lafayette College of Engineering’s first dual enrollment program. 

Dr. Ahmed Khattab, dean of the College of Engineering, expects the pilot program to grow quickly in coming semesters. “The idea as we move forward is to partner with more schools to offer courses that are needed to help prepare their students for college.”

The initial group of students was selected for the pilot program by a committee of representatives from the college and the David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy based on academic accomplishments, interests and career goals.

They will enroll in a three-credit hour Introduction to Computer Engineering course, attending lectures and labs on campus this fall. The course will introduce students to the fundamentals of digital design, which is the foundation of designing smart systems. The students will earn both high school and college credits upon completing course requirements.

Jeff Debetaz, principal of the David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy, envisions the dual enrollment program benefitting “a number of our hard-working, high-achieving engineering and technology students who are prime candidates for this unique opportunity, which will center on learning experiences on the UL Lafayette campus.”

In addition to college readiness, the dual enrollment program is in place to help ease the transition from high school to college, Khattab explained. “We want to not only accelerate the educational process for high-performing students, but also build a bridge between their high school and college experiences.”

Dr. Magdy Bayoumi, who heads the University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said the “partnership will showcase the best of both institutions, providing students who participate with opportunities to move closer toward a number of promising career paths.”

Photo caption: The College of Engineering has launched its first dual enrollment program. This fall, 15 David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy students will take a computer engineering course at UL Lafayette as part of a pilot program expected to expand in coming semesters. Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette