Pair of ETSU graduates are the first to receive general engineering degrees

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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JOHNSON CITY – The Class of 2020 is celebrating many firsts. In addition to being the first class to graduate “virtually,” two students are the first to receive general engineering degrees from East Tennessee State University and Tennessee Tech University.
 In fall 2017, ETSU began enrolling students into a joint degree program in general engineering that continues to be the only one of its kind in Tennessee and one of only a few joint programs in the nation. Hunter Ayers and Chase Carter, both from Greeneville, are the first to receive the Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
 “I chose the program because it was close to home, plus I liked the idea of being part of something new and it was nice to study multiple disciplines,” Ayers said.
 The general engineering degree offered by ETSU and TTU requires coursework in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering and prepares students for the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. The program prepares students to support a broad area of engineering needs at small- and medium-sized enterprises.
 Ayers and Carter completed courses taught by faculty from ETSU and TTU, so they were already comfortable with online learning when all ETSU courses transitioned to online delivery during the spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 “You still get the same level of education and it’s not much different than sitting in the front of the classroom,” Ayers explained.
 While some classmates live locally and others are in Cookeville attending TTU, Carter said forming study groups with peers provides support and encouragement.
 “I made friends who were miles away, but we all worked together to overcome problems which is what the program is all about.”
 Both graduates are eager to put their skills to work and plan to further their education in the future.
 For more information about the joint degree in general engineering, visit

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