The transition from high school to college can be rough for many of us, not only in the learning atmosphere, but also financially. With the Texas A&M – Engineering Academies program, our university is able to provide students with a practical and more affordable way to obtain an engineering degree.
In this program, students can take up to the first four semesters of their degree at a community college with their engineering courses taught by a Texas A&M professor. Then students transition to College Station and finish their education. The academy allowed me to properly adapt to the college environment while also reducing the financial burden on my family, and I put together a list of tips for students who are currently in an engineering academy.
1. Campus engagement trips
Unlike transfer programs, academy students are Aggies from day one and are taken on many trips to campus throughout the semester. From football games to engineering informational sessions, you learn about Aggie traditions and student life through this campus engagement.
2. On-campus events
Despite not being in College Station, nothing restricts you from applying to the multiple events that take place on campus. I was able to attend Aggies Invent: Nuclear Security during the Fall 2019 semester along with an academy friend, Jessica Chapa. Throughout this intense but wonderful experience, we were able to explore multiple aspects of engineering we had never even heard of before while obtaining insight into how industry works.
3. Engineering class environment
Do not think for a second that having started your degree in a community college makes it less valuable. You are a Texas A&M student! You are receiving a Texas A&M level education! By being in a community college, classes tend to be smaller, making it easier to not only approach your professors but also get to know your classmates and make study groups. I, personally became very close with my academy classmates, to the point where now they are like family to me, mutually learning and pushing each other to be better. Being co-enrolled in two institutions allows you to meet other engineering students, who plan on continuing their education in other universities, and take advantage of this to expand your network and learn from different points of view!
4. Transition to College Station
Although transitioning to College Station is a big step to make, it does not have to be hard! The university has multiple resources to help you throughout this transition. You can always count on your advisors, staff and fellow Aggies to ease the process and guide you in the right direction. It was certainly a big change for me, but the feeling of joy you get once you are on campus is like no other.
To my fellow Academy Aggies, I wish for you all to enjoy and make the most out of this program, and I hope to see you in College Station soon!
Texas A&M University offers a wide variety of methods to attend Texas A&M through Engineering Academies. Search other colleges all across Texas that have joined in this unique opportunity.