Looking for a career that is challenging yet creative, provides a benefit to society and yields high pay? Engineering would be a great fit. Engineers solve problems and learn skills that can be applied all over the United States and beyond while providing a variety of career opportunities.

Haywood Community College’s associate in engineering program offers courses in the groundwork for students to transfer into a Bachelor of Science program in the field of engineering. A benefit of starting your college career at HCC is while staying close to home, you will save money and receive one-on-one classroom experience. 

These are all reasons why 2018 HCC Associate in Science graduate John Albritton chose HCC as his first stop on his educational journey after high school. This is also why he has spent the last year taking classes at both HCC and Western Carolina University.

“HCC is substantially cheaper,” Albritton explains. “The smaller classes meant I got more one-on-one time and HCC offered the courses I needed.”

Albritton started earning college credit tuition-free while still in high school through the Career and College Promise Program.

At WCU, Albritton is taking electrical engineering. “I am fascinated with and good at math and science,” he says. “They go hand in hand with engineering. I also really feel like I will be able to get a job straight out of college with a degree in engineering.”    

It is true that graduates can expect a good return on their educational investment. According to the NC Common Follow-up System, the top paying bachelor’s degree programs of graduates from the University of North Carolina System Schools (based on median wage after five years) are engineering-based. In fact, out of the 10 top paying programs, a branch of engineering represents 8 of the fields.                                

HCC’s associate in engineering program provides courses that are equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program. Upon completing the program at HCC, students may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree that includes numerous specialties such as mechanical, civil, electronic, computer, biological and more. The associate in engineering program is a ‘calculus ready’ program of study, meaning that Calculus I is the lowest level math course that will be accepted by the engineering programs for transfer as a math credit. Students who are not calculus-ready will need to take additional math courses.

The associate in engineering program offers courses that are part of an approved articulation agreement with the engineering programs at Eastern Carolina University, North Carolina A & T State University, North Carolina State University (including the Mechatronics program at UNC-Asheville), UNC-Charlotte and Western Carolina University. Admission to engineering programs is highly competitive and is not guaranteed.

HCC’s associate in engineering degree plan includes required general education and prerequisite courses that are acceptable to all state-funded Bachelor of Engineering programs. Students who follow the degree progression plan will meet the entrance requirements at all of the North Carolina public Bachelor of Science engineering programs.

According to Albritton, “HCC prepared me for the next step at a four-year school. It was much cheaper and I was able to get a taste of engineering through the classes I took there.”

For more information about HCC’s associate in engineering program, please call 828-627-4579 or visit haywood.edu.