Given the overall demand for qualified engineers among leading businesses and the academic reputation of the University of Notre Dame, King’s College officials were confident that the dual degree program in engineering that was announced in 2012 would be a popular option for high school graduates. The high level of popularity it has reached in a very short time frame has exceeded all their expectations.
The dual degree program in engineering will allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry, computer science, or environmental science from King’s and a bachelor’s degree in one of six engineering disciplines from the University of Notre Dame after five years of study.
The program started strong, attracting 20 declared majors in the fall of 2013, more than double the original goal of eight students for the first year, according to Paul Lamore, associate professor of management and director of the engineering program.
Projections for the class of first-year students entering in August indicate that the program is even more popular among the Class of 2018 than the first year. There are 30 declared majors entering in August, a 250 percent increase over the projected total of 12.
“The demand for this dual degree program can be attributed to the success that King’s College has had within the sciences and the well-respected national reputation of our sister school, the University of Notre Dame,” said Corry Unis, vice president for enrollment management at King’s. “Students benefit from the best of both worlds, an intimate residential liberal arts college coupled with a premier research level university.”
In addition to their respective course work, all the first-year engineering students gathered together twice a week during the spring semester with Lamore as part of an Introduction to Engineering Seminar. The culmination of the seminar was an Engineer Design Competition in which student teams used Lego Mindstorm EV3 robotic kits and a 3D printer to conceptualize and design products. The students were required to submit a system design and functional description of the product, along with individual and sub-assembly drawings, a software flowchart, and a user manual. Student designs included a candy dispensing machine, a pet playmate and a device that shuffles and deals cards.
Students spend three years at King’s taking mathematics, science, pre-engineering, environmental science, and liberal arts courses, and then transfer to Notre Dame for two years to complete engineering courses in their chosen field. Upon successful completion of the five-year program, students will receive both a Bachelor of Science from King’s and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Notre Dame (in Aerospace, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, or Environmental Science Engineering). All of the engineering degree programs at the University of Notre Dame are accredited by The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
The engineering affiliation allows King’s an opportunity to address a national shortage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates from U.S. colleges and universities.
King’s College is a Catholic College sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross.
A requirement of team design project required of all students completing the first year of King’s College’s dual engineering degree program with the University of Notre Dame was to apply concepts learned through the first year of the program and design an electromechanical control system that utilized computer software and a variety of sensors. One of the devices designed by a team of King’s College first-year students was a personal valet. The device was designed to follow its owner through use of infrared technology. The system is also controlled via ultrasonic and touch sensors.