Adams State mechanical engineering program attracts Valley kids
MAKAYLA Martinez saw herself headed either to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs or Colorado State in Fort Collins because she knew both schools had what she saw as “very good mechanical engineering programs.”
She felt a degree in mechanical engineering would be a great way to use both her critical thinking and her creativity, and she was determined to pursue that career path coming out of Alamosa High School.
Then the best of both worlds happened for her. During her senior year of high school, Adams State University – her hometown university – announced a new partnership with Colorado State University that would establish a mechanical engineering degree at Adams State taught by CSU professors.
It was an opportunity she didn’t pass up, and then earlier this week she found herself immersed with other incoming freshmen at a mechanical engineering orientation at Adams State. She didn’t have to leave the Valley to pursue the degree she wanted.
“Some expectations I have for the program is to not only educate me and help me get a mechanical engineering career,” said Makayla. “It will teach me lessons that I can use outside of my career, like problem solving, communication, and leadership. I hope to gain from this degree a successful life-long career.”
It’s the establishment of new degree plans like mechanical engineering that Adams State is using to help boost its sagging enrollment. The university over the past few years has both added and eliminated degree programs as it works to figure out how to make the school attractive to undergraduate students and particularly students from the San Luis Valley like Makayla Martinez.
“If Adams State did not offer mechanical engineering, I would’ve definitely chosen a different university,” she said.
PHOTO: Makayla Martinez, left, is among the first students to participate in this degree program. They attended a four-day orientation before classes start next week. Courtesy Adams State.