New College and UF launch dual-degree program

By Abby Weingarten

New College and the University of Florida (UF) are working together to design an innovative, five-year dual degree program with a liberal arts/engineering focus.

It would allow students to earn a bachelor of arts degree in a liberal arts and science area of concentration from New College, and a bachelor of science degree in an engineering major from UF. A spring 2021 implementation is the goal.

“This collaboration aims to provide a unique educational opportunity for New College students to pursue their intellectual curiosity while preparing for their future career,” said New College President Donal O’Shea. “Students will benefit from a well-rounded education in the arts and sciences and the rigorous training of a top-notch engineering college.”

According to New College Professor of Physics Donald Colladay, Ph.D., there is currently a proposed articulation agreement that is designed to offer engineering degrees in five areas: Computer Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering.

“We are hopeful that an engineering option will be a considerable attraction for incoming students who are interested in science in general,” Colladay said. “Often, students who are interested in technical STEM areas have a strong desire to have an engineering option available.”

The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at UF houses one of the largest, most dynamic engineering programs in the nation. The College produces inventions at twice the national average—and startups at five times the national average—for every research dollar spent.

“Our society is becoming increasingly complex, and people and groups are becoming more and more interdependent. We can no longer rely on the same way of doing things,” said Cammy R. Abernathy, Ph.D., dean of the Wertheim College. “Intricate and intertwined societal problems call for reimagined approaches and multidisciplinary skillsets.”

The Wertheim College is committed to graduating new engineers who are prepared to lead the charge in creative problem solving, Abernathy said.

“The goal of developing this dual degree program with New College is to offer students more assets for their intellectual ‘toolkit’ to support their innovation and creativity,” Abernathy said. “Employers everywhere will want to hire these graduates.”

O’Shea agreed.

“Our goal is to leverage the best assets of a small, residential liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university to develop the talented workforce that our state needs,” O’Shea said. “We will continue to respond to the evolving needs of Florida’s students, and the organizations that will employ them.”

The program has been vetted by the faculty members of both universities, and submitted for review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Abby Weingarten is the editor/writer in the Office of Communications & Marketing.

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 700 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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