The SFCC pre-engineering program is designed to match those classes that a student
would take in engineering during the freshman and sophomore years at a university.
All SFCC classes are transferable, and coordination is done twice yearly to ensure
compatibility with the university. After completing the SFCC program, approximately
50% go on to Gonzaga University, 40% to Washington State University, and 10% to the University of Washington
or other Western Washington engineering schools.
What's this field like?
People who seek a career in engineering typically share a curiosity about how things
work-and how they could work better. It's an exciting field with many challenges
and job options.
The largest and most popular disciplines of engineering are civil, mechanical and
electrical engineering. Many students, however, are attracted to smaller, more specialized
fields such as chemical, industrial, nuclear, environmental, mining and materials
All engineering disciplines have common core courses, and these are the courses
offered in the Spokane Falls Community College engineering transfer program. Deciding
on a particular discipline does not become necessary until the start of the junior
What is the SFCC engineering program like?
The SFCC six-quarter engineering program is intended to prepare students for transfer
to a four- year engineering college at the junior level. In order to complete the
SFCC curriculum in two years, students must rigorously prepare themselves in high
school with four years of high school mathematics, a year of chemistry and physics,
and a good background in English composition.
The SFCC program is closely coordinated with various four-year engineering institutions
in the state to ensure a smooth transfer. Classes are small and individualized attention
is given to students to help them succeed. This close relationship between faculty
and student is a key advantage to starting at SFCC.
What classes will I take?
The SFCC engineering transfer program emphasizes math and science. Since mathematics
is the "language of engineering" students take a year of calculus and
a second year of advanced calculus, linear algebra and differential equations. They
also study a year of physics and advanced chemistry.
If college preparatory classes were not taken in high school, students must first
prepare by taking lower level math/science courses. This will lengthen the two-year
Other disciplines are also important to engineering. English composition and technical
writing are critical to the practicing engineer. Coursework in economics, the social
sciences and humanities ensure that an engineer's designs are consistent with our
culture and environment.
Finally, first-year students also study manual and computer-aided drafting, and
spatial relations in the engineering graphics/CAD course. A problems/orientation
course teaches problemsolving techniques and orients students to the various fields
of engineering. Second-year Students study the effects of forces acting on bodies,
and the necessary body sizes. Study of electric circuits enables students to predict
the voltage and current found in an electrical model.
The above program gives the student a solid background for transferring to the college
or university level.
What types of jobs are available in engineering?
Opportunities and salaries in the engineering field are limitless in a world that
is becoming more technical all the time. After completing coursework at SFCC and
a university, students will earn a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree. These graduates
can expect to find several job openings in most disciplines, provided they are willing
to go where the jobs are.
Some graduates may find themselves working for companies who want a person with
an engineering background even though it may not be a position designated as an
The engineer with a B.S. degree may work in any of a number of functional areas.
The functional area depends on the nature of the job rather than the discipline
The design engineer is what most students think of when they think of engineering.
However, the graduate may work as a "field" engineer ensuring that designs
are built according to plans and specifications.
If the graduate engineer enjoys working with the big picture and analyzing the feasibility
of projects, perhaps concept/development engineering would be exciting. For those
interested in working at the edge of knowledge, research engineering may be the
A plant engineer may supervise a manufacturing process crew with great responsibility
for ensuring a smooth running operation. The sales engineer and applications engineer
must be thoroughly familiar with a company's product and its best utilization to
solve a customer's problem.
Finally, the graduate engineer may find that a teaching career is meaningful and
There are numerous areas of employment as an engineer and each has its own challenges
and rewards. During their careers, most engineers work in several different functional
areas. This guarantees that engineering will never be dull.