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Facebook Live Interview with Engineering Programs Director Ashley Hermes

Engineering Programs Director Ashley Hermes discusses Blinn's Associate of Science Degree in Engineering, Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn, and the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham

October 1, 2020


Video Transcription:

Richard Bray
Hi everybody, my name is Richard Bray with the Marketing Department here at Blinn College, and today I'm in the Academic Building at the Brenham Campus. We're talking today with Ashley Hermes, our Engineering Programs Director, and she's going to talk to us a little bit about the three pathways that we have in our engineering programs so let me switch the camera over. Ashley How are you doing today?

Ashley Hermes
I am doing well thank you guys so much for joining us today. As Rich said, I'm Ashley Hermes, Engineering Programs Director with Blinn, and we are so excited that you are joining us today.

Richard Bray
Well Ashley, let me ask you the first question: why should students consider an engineering degree at Blinn College?

Ashley Hermes
Great question. Engineering is such a rewarding field, and it's also a highly paid profession, as starting salaries are among the highest of any of the college degrees. In addition to that, in 2016, there was some analysis done and the median annual wage was over $91,000 for engineers. That right there is more than twice the median wage of all workers. Engineers are also high in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next 10 years or so, there are going to be about 140,000 new engineering positions created all the way from 2016 to 2026. In addition to that engineers are also very very happy with their profession. They have high job satisfaction, probably because of those great benefits, flexible schedules, those high salaries, as well as job security so engineering is a wonderful profession to go into and we're excited for students pursuing that degree plan.

Richard Bray
I know that we have three different programs and the first of those is that engineering associate science degree. Tell us a little bit about that and why students may choose that pathway.

Ashley Hermes
Yes, so we have a really interesting associate of science degree, and that is for field of study. We have three fields of studies that we offer for students: civil, electrical, and mechanical, which are some of the most popular degree plans out there for engineering.

What's unique to these fields of study plans is students don't follow the general education curriculum solely and actually take more courses within the engineering curriculum. So it's a more typical education that you would find for your first two years at a university, and what's unique to these plans is these plans are set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, THECB if you are familiar with them, and they actually guarantee that if students follow the field of study and then they progress on to a bachelor's degree at any state university, all of the field of study courses within that degree are able to transfer and apply to that civil or electrical or mechanical engineering degree. So it's a great opportunity for students to really engage with the engineering curriculum early on and take part in that.

Students who are interested in following that pathway, and they want to be full-time students at Blinn, simply fill out the ApplyTexas application, select engineering as their major and just make sure that you choose either the RELLIS Campus, if you're attending our Bryan location. Then, if you are going to be in the Brenham area, make sure to choose Brenham as your campus because RELLIS and Brenham are the two campus locations with the Associate of Science in Engineering degree.

Richard Bray
Excellent. So we've got this Associate of Science degree. We also have a program called Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Ashley Hermes
Sure. This is a great partnership that we have between Blinn and Texas A&M, and this is specifically the program that's in our Bryan/College Station area. Students are co-enrolled, so they will take classes on both Texas A&M's main campus as well as our RELLIS location in Bryan, and whenever they do that it's a great opportunity and benefit for the student. These students are admitted extra as well, they just ran out of space at Texas A&M, so these are highly qualified students that participate.

Some benefits to this program are that they get to take their really hard classes, their math and science, at Blinn, so those are in a smaller setting. Typically our class sizes are 25 to 30 students each. Within about two to three semesters they can apply to specific engineering majors at Texas A&M through their entry to a major process. Entry to a major is unique. Only students within the Texas A&M College of Engineering are able to actually complete this entry to a major application to get into a specific engineering major at Texas A&M, and Academy students in this co-enrollment program as well. They are able to go ahead and flow directly into any of the 22 engineering majors that Texas A&M has. I just remembered, if a student would like to participate in this program, they only accept students if they apply directly to Texas A&M, so students interested in it would need to apply to Texas A&M as a freshman, and then Texas A&M's Office of Admission will go ahead and review the freshman applicant pool, and then choose students to participate in the program from that freshman applicant pool.

Richard Bray
Excellent. So, the Texas A&M Office of Admissions invites students to participate in Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn. What about the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham?

Ashley Hermes
So, our Blinn-Brenham program is just absolutely amazing. It's kind of similar to the co-enrollment program that we have in Bryan. However, students take all of their classes on the Brenham Campus and they participate in a unique living-learning community. What that means is students live on the Brenham Campus in our new housing facility Mill Creek residence hall, and they live with other Engineering Academy students or other engineering majors. They do have their own bedroom and they share suites with other engineering majors so they're pretty much immersed within the culture of engineers.

In addition to having that special living arrangement, students are able to take all of their math, science, and engineering courses together, and they just are just so immersed within the curriculum that it provides a wonderful support system for students to ensure that they are successful in the programs and transferring. Students, in addition to the living arrangement and having that great support system, there's a huge cost savings with the program because they are taking so many of their courses through Blinn, so students typically save around $3,000 per semester. While co-enrolled in the Academy program for Brenham.

Another great point is that we have a wonderful Texas A&M faculty member who actually comes to the Brenham Campus to teach the A&M courses on the Brenham Campus. So we are so excited to have students engage and be in this type of immersed environment.

Students interested in participating in that program would first apply to Blinn College. They would choose Brenham as their campus and engineering as their major. They would also submit some test scores to us, maybe SAT or ACT, and then what we do from that information is we will review their test scores and make sure that they are math-ready for either precalculus or calculus - those are our admitting standards. If a student is a transfer student, maybe they're already started college, we do accept transfer students as long as they haven't completed too much curriculum. Students who are already at the college level, in addition to applying to Blinn, they would just submit a candidate form that they can access on our website, so it's a pretty easy process and we always say if you have questions about that process, feel free to contact me in regards to that.

Richard Bray
Now for all three of these programs - the Associate of Science Degree in Engineering, Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn, and the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn-Brenham - we have some upcoming information sessions. Can you tell us a bit about them?

Ashley Hermes
Yes, we are so excited. We have four different types of information sessions. Our first one is on general engineering or engineering at Blinn, and that's really intended for students who want to be full-time Blinn students pursuing engineering. Our first information session will be on November 10 for that type of session.

A couple of days later, we have a joint co-enrollment program session, which will cover our co-enrollment program in Bryan as well as our Academy Brenham program. Again, these co-enrollment programs are between Blinn and Texas A&M, and that presentation will be on November 12th. Both of these sessions will start at six o'clock. It does require registration and our registration can be found on our website.

Richard Bray
Excellent. In the meantime, where can people go to get some more information about the program?

Ashley Hermes
So directly to our website is where we want students and prospective parents to go as well just to learn more about opportunities that their students could have. So on our website,, if they scroll down a little bit, there's a contact us section, and within the contact us section there is a hyperlink for these online information sessions. Again, these will be delivered through Zoom, and there's definitely plenty of time to ask questions, receive answers, but also just have a really good overview of all the opportunities available to students. Also, looking forward to spring, we will also hold host information sessions. We'll continue our engineering at Blinn sessions, but we will have a separate Academy Brenham session and then we will have a specific session for our Bryan students who are already admitted to the program just to learn more and make sure that that's the program for them.

Richard Bray
Excellent, Ashley, I really appreciate it and I want to thank everybody who joined us today. We've had a great discussion today talking about the engineering programs that Blinn has to offer. We're also still registering students for Fall 4- and 8-week terms, so if you're looking for more information about those you can visit us at Thank you very much and go Bucs!











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