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FHU announces new computerengineering program, launching Fall of 2024

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Freed-Hardeman University will begin training engineers for a full bachelor’s degree starting in fall of 2024.

Freed-Hardeman University will offer a new computer engineering program in the fall of 2024, providing students with the opportunity to enter a first cohort for a Bachelor of Science in engineering with a concentration in computer engineering. Students of this cohort will be among the first to take advantage of the new ATPI Center for Computer Science and Digital Innovation, coming in the fall of 2025. The Center is named in honor of Albert and Treva Brown and Philip and Irene Kopel, the parents of John and Rosemary Brown, whose donations made the Center a reality.
“As the demand for computer engineers continues to grow, we are pleased to be a part of meeting that demand,” FHU President David R. Shannon shared. “We are excited about the director, professors, curriculum and planned facility, which will set up students for a successful career. John and Rosemary Brown believe in Freed-Hardeman University and in this new engineering program and its success. John’s own success as an engineer led him to become one of the leading CEOs in America. The Browns’ support continues to be indispensable. At FHU, we continue to move forward for God’s glory.”
The purpose of the computer engineering degree is to encourage and direct students toward opportunities in undergraduate research in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence and business analytics. Additionally, students will be connected with businesses and organizations interested in hiring or providing internships.
The field of computer engineering has grown exponentially in recent years, and jobs are being continually created to fill related needs in the workforce. Such in-demand positions may include computer hardware engineers, data scientists, software developers, game developers, forensic computer analysts and hardware reverse engineers. 
While many other engineering programs are research-driven with classes often being taught by graduate teaching assistants, students in FHU’s program will be taught directly by the full-time computer engineering faculty. Additionally, graduates in computer engineering will be prepared to continue their education and research in qualified master’s and doctoral programs.
“We live in a world of exciting and important challenges, from our rapidly developing technologies to society’s questions of how best to use them,” Dr. Ben Clark, FHU director of computer science and digital innovation, said. “To meet these opportunities head-on, Freed-Hardeman University will begin training engineers for a full bachelor’s degree starting in fall of 2024. We are building this program with support from the generous donations of John and Rosemary Brown and others that see our vision for providing an undergraduate engineering education in a Christ-centered context. The next few years will bring many changes, both on our campus and throughout the world. This is our next step in providing students an education that integrates faith, scholarship and service at every level of their university experience.”
The program is designed around the following objectives for student growth: faith – by using their unique talents in the practice of engineering for skillful stewardship of God’s creation, encouraging professional interactions that are fair, ethical and of the utmost integrity; scholarship – by engaging in the practice of engineering and the continued adventure of learning in a rapidly advancing field; and service – by being involved in community, making their families, congregations, companies and cities better because these students are “fit for use.”
With the addition of the ATPI Center for Computer Science and Digital Innovation in the fall of 2025, students will have access to a new academic location on campus that is designed to focus on project-based learning. This state-of-the-art location will have new classrooms, engineering labs, faculty offices, a fully equipped Makerspace and spaces for student collaboration.
For FHU, the addition of this program is the first step in a plan to train engineers in the field of robotics in a Christ-centered context. Further engineering concentrations are planned for the future. 
“The offering of the first engineering degree is an important milestone in the University’s history and further diversifies our academic portfolio,” said Dr. C.J. Vires, FHU provost and vice president for academics. “This program aligns with the workforce demands of West Tennessee and the Southeast region. This is a first step, and we will add additional concentrations for several more years. I’m very excited about the quality team of professors we’ve assembled to launch this program and the new forthcoming facility that will provide a showcase and new home for the program’s students and faculty.”  
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees. More information is available at fhu.edu.


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