Luis Moran of Bartlett, Ill., will be the first ECC student to graduate through the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Engineering Pathways Partnership in May. The UIIC Engineering Pathways Partnership offers a guaranteed admission option into 14 majors to qualifying students interested in transferring to The Grainger College of Engineering. The program requires the student to follow the Engineering Pathways Plan of Study, earn a B or better in each required course, maintain a 3.5 GPA, and meet with an advisor regularly.
“Just knowing you get guaranteed admission if you stay within the program requirements just seemed too good to be true,” said Moran. As he prepares to graduate this coming spring, Moran will go on to specifically study computer engineering, an interest of his that sparked in high school.
“In high school, I enrolled in classes such as Principles of Engineering and Computer Integrated Manufacturing that granted me hands-on experience with HAAS milling machines, CNC code, and AutoCAD. Astonished by how engineering is integrated all around us, I applied myself to take my interest outside the classroom and help my dad upgrade the old computer he had lying around,” said Moran. These experiences help guide Moran toward the specific field of computer engineering, solidifying his choice in pursuing that direction through his education and future career.
The Plan of Study for the Engineering Pathways Partnership first opened for students to enroll in the fall of 2019. “It is important to note that at UIUC certain Engineering majors only have admission points directly as a freshman or through the Engineering Pathways program. Students in ECC’s district continue to have the option to apply and enroll at UIUC directly after high school,” said Sean Jensen, director of transfer services. “But for students who prefer to start their college career closer to home in smaller class settings or aren’t admitted to their chosen major as a freshman, the Engineering Pathway provides the assurance that they are on the right path toward acceptance into their chosen major at one of the elite Engineering programs in the nation.”
Moran already knew he wanted to earn his degree in computer engineering from UIUC, but was seeking out a cost-efficient way to make that happen. One of his high school advisors recommended the partnership at ECC, and Moran jumped on the opportunity to achieve his goal while allowing himself to save money in the process. “The Engineering Pathways program acted as a middle step for me to be able to go onto my next step, and that is to earn my degree in engineering at a four-year school,” said Moran.
Along with the Engineering Pathway Partnership came a difficult course load. By following the Plan of Study, Moran was taking 18 credit hours per semester to finish in two years and transfer to UIUC. “The classes are difficult, but my teachers have always been really helpful and compassionate about the course load they give,” said Moran. With graduation approaching quickly, Moran is excited to be the first to graduate from ECC through the Partnership, a fit that could not have been more perfect for him. “I found a specific field in engineering that I deeply enjoyed and wanted to learn more about, and the Engineering Pathways really helped me achieve that,” said Moran.
Explore all the pathways and partnerships offered through ECC at elgin.edu/transfer.