Franciscan University expands degree options

STEUBENVILLE — Franciscan University of Steubenville students can now receive a degree in environmental engineering — one of the most in-demand fields of engineering — through a partnership established between Franciscan University and Saint Francis University, in Loretto, Pa.

Since 2012, Franciscan University has entered into partnership agreements — known as 2+2, 3+2, or dual-degree programs — with the University of Notre Dame, The Catholic University of America, Gannon University, and the University of Pittsburgh that enable Franciscan students to obtain degrees in civil, aerospace, chemical, biomedical, electrical, environmental and mechanical engineering.

Under these arrangements, students typically study at Franciscan University for two years and receive an Associate of Science in Natural and Applied Science, then transfer to a participating university for two years of study that leads to a degree in engineering. Some students can even receive a mathematics degree from Franciscan and an engineering degree from a participating university by spending three years at Franciscan and two at a partner university.

The new agreement with Saint Francis University in environmental engineering is a similar to one with Gannon University, providing another opportunity for students pursuing that major.

Environmental engineers use the principles of science and math to manage ecosystems, restore polluted lands, and protect soil, air, and water resources.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average annual salary in 2015 for environmental engineers in was $84,500. The job market for environmental engineers is projected to grow by 12 percent through 2024, making it the second most in-demand engineering field, next to biomedical engineering.

“The job market is very strong for engineers,” Derek Doroski, director of Franciscan University’s Engineering Program, stated in a press release announcing the new partnership. “A significant number of our students are being offered jobs before they graduate.”

Increasingly, employers in high-security and complex engineering fields want to know “are you reliable, are you hard working, and are you honest?” Doroski said.

“Those are identifiable skills our students develop from their time at Franciscan,” Doroski said, citing Franciscan’s overall faith formation and the liberal arts courses students take in Christian ethics, theology, philosophy and other subjects, alongside coursework in math, physics, chemistry and other science courses.

“The net result is employers know they will be hiring a good, reliable, ethical person,” said Doroski.

The Franciscan University and Saint Francis engineering partnership agreement goes into effect July 1. It was recently signed by Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Father Malachi Van Tassell, TOR, president of Saint Francis University and other administrators from both universities.

Both Franciscan schools are founded under the leadership of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, based in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

Information about the Engineering Program is available at the Franciscan University website or by contacting the Admissions Office at admissions@franciscan.edu or (800) 783-6220.