A new degree is eyed for Alabama engineers

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama's community colleges may offer new associate's degree in engineering next fall to meet industry demand.

Figures from Gov. Bob Riley's Office of Workforce Development show that Alabama needs 1,100 new engineers a year. Alabama Community College System Chancellor Bradley Byrne recently organized a meeting among deans at some of the state's four-year and two-year colleges to come up with a way to increase the number of engineering graduates.

Kenneth Swinney, a Bevill State Community College physics and engineering teacher, was appointed to head a task force that will study an associate's degree.

Any proposed degree program must be approved by the state Board of Education.

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