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Students Can Earn NIU Engineering Degrees In Rockford


Rockford students will be able to earn an NIU engineering degree without leaving the city.

The partnership announced Mondayallows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical or mechanical engineering, as well as applied manufacturing from Northern Illinois University at the Rock Valley College campus.

Promod Vohra, Dean, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, says the arrangement opens up new opportunities for Rockford’s young people:

“We want the students to be mentored, we want the students to be given internships, and we want the students to get scholarships. We want to make it a pathway that is possible, and that is optimum, and that leads to technical careers.”

Credit Rock Valley College
NIU President Dr. Doug Baker (left) and RVC President Mike Mastroianni (right) signed a Letter of Intent for the establishment of the NIU-RVC Engineering Program on August 24, 2015.

Vohra says there are already hundreds of NIU grads working in Rockford, but he says recent corporate expansions make the timing right for a more local presence in the city.

"The purpose of this program is to let the Rockford community create a synergy in the community, so they can create their own talent through Rockford Public Schools, private high schools, and surrounding areas. People  in the community can have opportunities in the community and decide to stay and have productive careers."

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield. She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" from the Illinois Associated Press and recipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.