MSU Texas to add new Center for STEM Excellence, electrical engineering degree

Creating new opportunities

MSU Texas to add new Center for STEM Excellence, electrical engineering degree

Midwestern State University (MSU Texas) will receive $2.4 million to establish a Center for STEM Excellence as part of the university’s non-formula funding request approved as part of the budget during the 88th Texas Legislature. The additional support will provide for the expansion of STEM courses, disciplines and outreach to enhance recruitment, retention and community development.

“We are especially grateful to Rep. James Frank and Sens. Charles Perry and Drew Springer for their advocacy of the university and support of this request,” said MSU Texas Interim President Keith Lamb. “The Center for STEM Excellence will provide us with a competitive advantage as we recruit and retain students and faculty as well as provide important workforce development for our region and state.”

Over the next two years, the Center for STEM Excellence will enhance opportunities for students to choose new STEM career paths, create an ethically grounded and STEM-trained workforce, and expand technological innovations in learning spaces.

“This legislative session was a banner year for the Texas Tech University System,” said Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., chancellor of the TTU System. “I want to express my gratitude to our legislative leaders in Austin, starting with Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan, along with our strong legislative delegations throughout the footprint of the TTU System and elected officials throughout the state who are champions for higher education and health care and advocates for their communities.

“The financial investments our state made this session will benefit our students, faculty and staff, the operations of our universities and our institutions’ strategic priorities for years to come. I look forward to the great things ahead at MSU Texas and to see the impactful ways the university’s new Center for STEM Excellence can further enhance the educational mission at the institution and address future workforce needs.”

A top priority addressed through new funding is the addition of new degree program in electrical engineering. The program will complement the university’s successful mechanical engineering program and respond to critical workforce demands in the region.

“This project, along with our planned expansion and renovation of Bolin Science Hall, will enhance teaching and learning experiences for students and faculty, and provide community outreach opportunities,” said MSU Texas Interim Provost Marcy Brown Marsden. “We are excited to establish a center to expand upon our already solid foundation of STEM courses and disciplines.”

Other priorities of the center include:

  • Overseeing a campus and community makerspace, STEM nights and other community outreach activities to develop and promote career paths and a STEM-trained workforce.
  • Expanding virtual lab infrastructure to leverage the ability to teach laboratory principles for dual-credit, flipped and distance education courses.
  • Expanding computer systems course options for degree-completion students in programming, human-computer interface, cybersecurity and gaming.
  • Implementing student-centered peer-to-peer mentorship and bridge programs to improve student success in first-year STEM courses.
  • Partnering with area school districts on the regional science fair and supporting the pipeline of STEM-interested students in grades 6-12 while enhancing teacher engagement in student-led STEM projects.
  • Supporting faculty professional development to foster best practices for retaining students in non-major and first-year courses.

MSU Texas also will receive additional support from the state through formula funding, comprehensive regional universities (CRU) funding, higher education group insurance (HEGI) funding, and the Hazlewood Legacy Act.