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Bethel College and the University of Notre Dame Agree to Continuation of Collaborative Engineering Program

Bethel College and the University of Notre Dame have agreed to continue their collaborative liberal arts and engineering program for undergraduates, a partnership they have maintained for more than 30 years.

Under this dual-degree program, a student takes three years of liberal arts and preparatory engineering courses at Bethel followed by two years in Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. Upon successfully completing the program, each student receives two degrees: a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Mathematics/Physics from Bethel and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Engineering degree from Notre Dame. The program is available through all the departments in the College of Engineering.

Having graduated six students from Notre Dame this past spring, Bethel’s program director, Ralph Bruce, Ph.D., associate professor of engineering, looks to expand the program on Bethel’s campus as well as increase the number of students in the next five years. Over the last seven years, the program has seen an excellent success rate with 100 percent of students graduating.

This program has allowed us to recruit more effectively, helping us attract the technically minded student who wants to start their learning program in the closely knit liberal arts environment available here at Bethel, then finish up in the nationally recognized program at Notre Dame,” comments Dr. Bruce. “We are looking for students who are going to create the technologies that will help solve our pressing needs for energy independence as well as provide safe water, food, health and transportation systems.”

“We are happy to be able to continue our partnership with Bethel for a number of reasons,” says Cathy Pieronek, M.S., J.D., director of academic affairs in the College of Engineering. “As we look toward the future of our country with its aging infrastructure, and of our world with its growing energy challenges, it is vital to develop young engineers with strong technical knowledge who are committed to finding answers to critical problems and using their skills to serve their communities. The mix of liberal arts and engineering this program offers develops a well-rounded professional better able to take on leadership positions in a variety of fields. The Bethel-Notre Dame program, along with a similar program at Saint Mary’s College, allows us to serve South Bend, northern Indiana and beyond with a different path for more young people to enter the field of engineering, especially as Notre Dame is beginning to anchor high technology initiatives in the region including Innovation Park and the Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery.”

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 50 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,000 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 20 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, ethnicity and church affiliation.

The University of Notre Dame is one of a handful of truly national universities, with a student body drawn from across the United States and more than 100 foreign countries. Current enrollment exceeds 11,700 students, which includes more than 3,300 graduate and law students. Offering a student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to 1, the College of Engineering graduates approximately 250 undergraduates annually. But Notre Dame is much more than numbers and enrollment statistics. Like Bethel, education at Notre Dame has always been linked to its values, which lends to its unique spirit and incorporates tradition, scholarship and technological innovation.