Brandon Zurliene Continues Success of KC Engineering Students


Brandon Zurliene graduated from Wesclin High School in 2010, and was offered a Board of Trustees Scholarship to attend Kaskaskia College.   Brandon chose the pre-engineering program at KC, and after graduating in 2012 moved on to the Mechanical Engineering program at SIU Edwardsville.


“At KC, I learned how to study and prepare myself as a college student,” Brandon said.  “I was taught the crucial introductory courses that my engineering classes at SIUE are based on.  I believe I am as equally prepared for the [Junior level] classes as SIUE students.”


In fact, Brandon is continuing a new tradition of KC pre-engineering students’ success at SIUE.  Many of Brandon’s classmates at KC have gone on to hold student leadership positions in the SIUE School of Engineering, and many have won scholarships based upon academic excellence.  “I am proud of Brandon and the entire first two cohorts of pre-engineering students,” said Eric Hofelich, Professor of Mathematics and leader of KC’s pre-engineering program.  “With our 2+2 articulation agreement with SIUE, we can expect continued success with our students after they leave here.”


Kaskaskia College’s 2+2 agreement with SIUE ensures that students in the pre-engineering program at KC are able to transition smoothly to the SIUE School of Engineering after earning their Associates degree at KC.  This agreement has been so successful that it has become the model for other agreements between KC and SIU campuses in a number of programs.


At SIUE, Brandon is studying mechanical engineering, and has landed a competitive internship with Utility Design Services in Edwardsville.  Brandon is a Computer Aided Drafting intern, as a result of the AutoCad classes he took with KC’s Professor of Drafting Rich Rittenhouse.  “AutoCad helps to set our program apart,” said Professor Rittenhouse, “along with our system of earning certificates in a number of engineering specializations.”

“I believe drafting has been my stepping stone into an engineering career,” Brandon said.  “In our design project for the pre-engineering drafting course I learned to be a team leader and became aware of how hard it is to complete a design project from start to finish.  Both Mr. Rittenhouse and Mr. Hofelich were great instructors.”


Brandon doesn’t hesitate to recommend KC to others interested in engineering.  “I believe KC is a good start for going into engineering, especially if students are not sure if engineering is the right path for them. KC offers courses that are equivalent to SIUE with smaller class sizes and lower cost. All of the instructors I had at KC were very willing to help and their doors were always open if I ever had questions. At KC the teachers got to know and understand their students.”


For more information on Kaskaskia College’s pre-engineering program, please contact Professor Eric Hofelich at 618-545-3359 or


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