TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Texas A&M University-Texarkana recently received millions in funding from the state to expand some academic programs.
East Texas lawmakers helped secure the $3.6 million in funding for the university. “I think the potential is enormous for Northeast Texas, all of East Texas, really,” said Rep. Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston. VanDeaver sits on the appropriations committee.
The programs to be developed include Bachelor of Social Work (BSW); Master of Social Work (MSW); Master of Nursing-Advance Practice Nurse/Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP); Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME); and Certificate in Paper Engineering.
VanDeaver said local industries need skilled workers. “This will be a pipeline of employees for them. They have been having to go out of state to recruit people to come into their plants and work.”
University officials add that many local agencies have expressed interest in social work programs. “There’s a real need to address a lot of problems and challenges in East Texas. We have a high suicide rate, there’s a lot of poverty, there’s opioid abuse,” said Del Doughty, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences and Education.
TAMUT hopes to have the new programs in place by Fall, 2020. “The theme running through all those things is the idea of bettering our best in East Texas,” said Doughty.