UCCS partners with United States Space Command

The United States Space Command recently announced the designation of UCCS as an Academic Engagement Enterprise (AEE) partner institution. The U.S. Space Command created the Academic Engagement Enterprise in September 2022 to foster relationships and collaboration between U.S. Space Command and cutting-edge academic institutions to solve complex problems related to space.

In an official ceremony, Col. Douglas Drake, PhD, Training and Education Division Chief, presented the official declaration to Don Rabern, Dean of the UCCS College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“U.S. Space Command’s goal for our Academic Engagement with the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is to strengthen our relationship and communication on mutually beneficial and challenging space-related educational initiatives,” said Drake. “This will improve and sustain our efforts to meet space-based operational mission requirements and workforce professionalization needs.”

U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) intends to collaborate with UCCS and other partner universities on four stated goals: to engage the future workforce of college graduates, increase space-applied research and innovation, expand space-focused analytic partnerships, and enrich the strategic dialogue on space.

Drake added, “We aim to inspire diverse groups of students to pursue space education, research, and careers throughout the space enterprise. USSPACECOM will consistently recruit and hire the most qualified personnel to fill our ranks and ensure mission success in the execution of our national strategic and defense strategy responsibilities.”

UCCS, an R2 research institution, was the fifth university named a U.S. Space Command Academic Engagement Enterprise Partner Institution, joining four other universities: University of Arizona, Columbia Southern University, University of New Mexico, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Don Rabern, Dean of the UCCS College of Engineering and Applied Science, said, “UCCS is pleased to partner with USSPACECOM through the Academic Engagement Enterprise. The AEE will enable UCCS to contribute to research initiatives and workforce development while creating opportunities for our students and faculty. Our relationships with U.S. Space Command, U.S. Space Force and industry partners builds on our focus to implement research initiatives and contribute to the technical workforce of the region.”

The UCCS College of Engineering and Applied Science leads the campus in research funding. The college offers multiple degrees from bachelor to PhD that align with space research and future employment needs, including the recently added Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering (BSAE), a degree launched in fall 2022. The BSAE builds upon an existing minor in aerospace engineering, which has been offered in the college for over 20 years. Plans are underway to add a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2024. To meet statewide and regional employment needs, the college offers an online master’s degree in Space Operations, which has a track record of providing an advanced space-focused degree for working space professionals.

To support these programs, the college broke ground on the new Anschutz Engineering Center in September 2022, to add 24,000 square feet of specialty labs, instructional spaces, and increased capacity. Construction is on schedule for classes to begin in the new building in January 2024.

About the College of Engineering and Applied Science

The College of Engineering and Applied Science enrolls more than 1,700 students and offers 24 engineering and computer science degrees, ranging from bachelor to doctoral. The college is a Department of Homeland Security/National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense and works closely with the National Cybersecurity Center and with more than 250 aerospace and defense, information technology, cybersecurity and engineering organizations in the Pikes Peak region. Learn more about the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UCCS.