Federal government approves loan for UOG engineering building, student center | Local News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week approved a $ 21.7 million loan to the University of Guam Endowment Foundation to expand and renovate the university’s student service center and build a school engineers.

The university launched a new engineering program last year that, for the first time, will allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering without having to leave the island.

UOG engineering students had to start their studies in Guam and then transfer after two years to a university off the island in order to graduate. Students who wish to pursue other engineering disciplines must always leave the island to graduate.

For example, UOG’s engineering school is about to finalize an agreement with the University of Hawaii to allow Guam students to complete their mechanical engineering degree at UH.

UOG plans to build a $ 5.4 million engineering school to house the new engineering program.

The building is already designed, but construction cannot begin until funding is in place for a contractor, said Shahram Khosrowpanah, dean of the university’s School of Engineering. The engineering faculty is currently occupying temporary offices, using classrooms from other departments, he said.

Khosrowpanah, also known as “Dr. K”, said the new engineering school, including the labs, is important for the UOG program to qualify for “ABET” certification.

This undated photo, provided by the University of Guam, shows some of the faculty and students associated with the university's School of Engineering.  Stand, from left, are: Joseph D. Rouse, professor of water resources engineering;  Julian M. Rosario, assistant professor;  Fernabel De La Pena, administrative agent;  Ujwalkumar D. Patil, assistant professor of geotechnical engineering;  and Pyoyoon Hong, associate professor of structural engineering and division president.  Seated, from left to right, are Maegan Catahay, student and public relations officer of the Society of American Military Engineers Guam Post Student Chapter;  Shahram Khosrowpanah, dean;  and Nilo Espinoza, student and president of the SAME Guam Post Student Chapter.

Although the UOG program is currently WASC accredited, civil engineering graduates from UOG cannot qualify to become “professional engineers” unless the program is also ABET certified, Khosrowpanah said. Engineering graduates can work as engineers, but cannot certify and sign engineering work unless they are professional engineers.

There are currently around 230 students enrolled in the university’s engineering program, Khosrowpanah said, and the first group of civil engineering students are expected to graduate next spring after earning at least 127 credits.

USDA’s loan to UOG is one of $ 871 million in nationally approved loans and grants to support rural areas.

“These projects will help meet the university’s growing student population as well as the demand for professional engineers to support military expansion in Guam and the region,” the USDA said.

This article originally appeared on Pacific Daily News: Federal government approves loan for UOG engineering building and student center

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