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Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn student gets the best of both worlds

Through the co-enrollment program, Cooper Bennett enjoys small class sizes at Blinn while pursuing his Texas A&M engineering bachelor's degree

Through the co-enrollment program, Cooper Bennett enjoys small class sizes at Blinn while pursuing his Texas A&M engineering bachelor's degree

November 14, 2022

Cooper Bennett wasn’t immediately familiar with the Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn program when the Texas A&M University College of Engineering invited him to participate in the unique co-enrollment partnership offered in partnership with the Blinn College District.

Fortunately, Bennett’s cousin had participated in the program just a few years earlier on his way to a Texas A&M engineering degree.

“He told me about the ins and outs of the program and what I would be getting into, and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I need,’” Bennett recalled.

Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn is a unique program in which the Texas A&M University Office of Admissions invites qualified applicants who express an interest in an engineering major the opportunity to participate in an alternative pathway to their engineering degree.

As members of Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn, students are co-enrolled in the Texas A&M College of Engineering and Blinn College. Participants take their Texas A&M courses on the Texas A&M campus and their Blinn courses at Texas A&M-RELLIS in Bryan. Students who successfully complete the program with a minimum 3.75 grade point average at Blinn and Texas A&M earn automatic admission to their first-choice engineering major.

Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn allows Bennett to enjoy the benefits of both institutions. At Blinn, Bennett takes his math, science, and general education courses.

“It’s really beneficial because you get smaller class sizes and the professors are really engaged with teaching the material,” he said. “It’s more of a hands-on experience.”

At Texas A&M, Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn students take engineering classes only available to College of Engineering students and have the options to live on campus, purchase a sports pass, attend Fish Camp, and participate in student activities.

For Bennett, that meant the opportunity to join the Corps of Cadets, where he is a member of Company C-2. At the end of the fall semester, he plans to matriculate into a full-time Texas A&M student and pursue his bachelor’s degree in manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology. Upon completion of that degree, he will earn an officer commission in the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant and pursue a career in aviation.

“The problem-solving skills you get from engineering are a big benefit, and that experience working through problems is really beneficial,” Bennett said.

Another benefit to taking his Blinn classes at Texas A&M-RELLIS is the opportunity to learn from Chris Marrs, Blinn’s Executive Dean at RELLIS. Prior to his role at RELLIS, Marrs served 23 years with the U.S. Navy, including 13 as a naval aviator. Bennett and Marrs were matched through a Company C-2 mentorship program that pairs cadets with alumni.

“He has a lot of information to relay to me based on his experience in the Navy, and also, he has been in my shoes in the Corps of Cadets,” Bennett said.

Now, as a second-year student about to complete the Texas A&M Engineering at Blinn program, Bennett is positioned to offer his own advice for other students considering following in his footsteps.

“I’ve actually had this conversation multiple times with people who were just accepted or were thinking about it, and I’ve told them to go for it, 100%,” Bennett said. “The experience I’ve had here is definitely the way to go.”

For more information about Blinn’s Engineering Program and its co-enrollment opportunities, visit www.blinn.edu/engineering.

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