How much will this program cost?
There is zero cost to parents. Tuition, fees, textbooks, and supplies for all students enrolled in the program are provided by the partnerships involved with creating AET. Students will be concurrently enrolled and will receive credit from both their high school and from Virginia State University (VSU). Students enrolled in the Danville AET operation receive additional credits from Danville Community College (DCC) for courses taken during the second block.
When/where are classes?
Courses for Martinsville, Henry County, and Carlisle high school students are taught at New College Institute (NCI) in uptown Martinsville from 8:00 am – 9:30 am.
Students from Pittsylvania County and Danville City Schools will have an additional block that will comprise math and english courses offered by DCC at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville from 7:45 am - 11:00 am.
Transportation is provided by the local school systems.
What are any prerequisites for the program?
All students will need to have strong math and communication skills. Additionally, students enrolled within the engineering track are required to take calculus either during or prior to their senior year, as courses taught within the second year of the track are Calculus based.
Are students enrolled in an actual college degree program?
No, but students will be enrolled in actual college courses and receive dual enrollment credit.
Will this help students graduate early?
No, but credits will be used to satisfy graduation requirements.
Will these credits transfer to engineering degree programs at other schools?
It is possible that the credits will transfer to other ABET accredited university programs, although they might transfer as electives. How courses transfer from one university to another is a fluid process as each university updates their curriculum on a regular basis.
Is there an application process?
For entry into the AET program, students will complete an online AET application during the spring of their sophomore year and will require faculty recommendations (three), a written essay, and scores on the Virginia Placement Test (VPT) or equivalent tests (PSAT, SAT, ACT)
Will students have a college advisor?
The AET faculty will work closely with students in both instruction and advisory roles.
Will students have to finish at VSU?
No. After completing the program, students will have the option of going directly to the workforce, or attend the college or university of their choice. VSU and NCI are working to provide a program for students to continue their education and earn a B.S. in engineering, engineering technology, or technology degree through VSU while completing coursework at NCI.
What happens if a student is removed or withdraws from the program?
In order to remain in the program, students must obtain the appropriate grades in all courses listed as prerequisites for future AET courses. For example, students must complete ENGR 101 with a grade of “C” or higher to remain in the program and enroll in ENGR 102. If a student is in danger of not maintaining the necessary grade level, AET faculty will communicate the student’s standing throughout the course and coordinate opportunities for the student to improve their performance. If these attempts fail to improve the student’s academic standing, the student will be removed from the program upon consultation with AET program director, instructors, and school representatives. Students that are removed from the program will be placed in appropriate courses at their home school. Removal midway through the school year may result in loss of partial course completion and may mean starting over in certain courses if directly comparable courses are not available.
How do we know the program will stay current with industry needs and other engineering or technology programs?
Representatives from NCI and VSU continue to sit down with local, regional and statewide industry representatives to ensure that education is aligned with current and future needs. Feedback from industry is critical in the design, implementation and continued success of the program.
Can students participate in AET and Governor’s School or the ACE Academy?
Unfortunately, no. Course times typically overlap and the completion requirements for each program are not compatible.
Can students take AP or Dual Enrollment courses at their high schools?
Yes. Students are encouraged to take advanced courses at their high schools.
Are AET grades weighted by the high schools?
Each school division will weight grades according to their individual policies. Check with the principal or school counselor to verify how AET grades will be weighted. However, the unweighted grade you earn in an AET course will be on your college transcripts.