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New Geosciences, Physics and Engineering Building gets the green light

After years of planning and work, the new Geosciences, Physics and Engineering (GPE) Building at Fort Lewis College will become a reality. Word came down from the state capital that construction funding to begin the new building is now secured.

Geosciences, physics and engineering are three of the College’s strongest programs. In particular, demand for the engineering program at Fort Lewis College has exploded, more than doubling over the last three years. Unfortunately, this growth has resulted in overcrowding of the facilities in which engineering resides. Without a new facility, the engineering program would run out of room within just a few years.

The old and overcrowded facilities are particularly frustrating given that students graduating from engineering, geosciences and physics are so successful.

For example, in 2010, 2011, and 2013, 100% of FLC engineering students taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam passed. In recent years, engineering students consistently passed the FE at a higher rate than the national average. Once they pass the FE, alumni of the engineering program boast an employment rate of over 90%.

“This has been a long time in coming and we feel we have great students and built strong programs that are deserving of this investment in Fort Lewis College and the future of Colorado,” says Dr. Ryan Haaland, chair of the FLC Department of Physics & Engineering.

Learning at a place like Fort Lewis College results in successful outcomes for geosciences students as well. For example, FLC graduates with bachelor’s degrees in geosciences earn higher median first-year salaries than other geosciences grads surveyed in Colorado (from College Measures).

“The faculty and students in the Department of Geosciences are excited that funds for the GPE building are approved,” says Dr. David Gonzales, chair of the department. “We are looking forward to a new home in a modern facility which will contribute to our program’s development and future.”

The same kind of earning power can also be found in graduates of the FLC physics program. The median first-year salary for Fort Lewis College physics grads is nearly $7,000 above other physics graduates surveyed across the state (from College Measures).

Success at Fort Lewis College can only help Colorado. The state is pushing for more high tech industries and jobs, a push that can be seen in initiatives like the state’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Program. The program’s website explains that the goal is to promote growth and sustainability in industries like “advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources (including Cleantech), infrastructure engineering, and technology and information.” The state will need highly qualified graduates in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields to make this happen.

Visit our website to learn more about the benefits and opportunities a new GPE Building will offer Fort Lewis College students.

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Tags: Engineering Physics STEM


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