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The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has accredited all seven UML engineering programs for the next six years, the maximum allowed by the Board.
Dean John Ting calls the news, which reflects outstanding effort by the college administration and department chairs, unprecedented and “cause for celebration.”
“This is absolutely greater than what we have ever done in the past. Before this, we always had at least one program in which we were required to write follow-up reports on how we fixed things. In some cases it was because we didn’t understand the process (which changed in 1999-2000) and in other cases because we didn’t have resources in the right places.”
The accreditation was particularly impressive, Ting says, because it includes Computer Engineering, a new program, which is now retroactively accredited to October 2005.
Some of the departments’ strengths highlighted by the Board included their industrial advisory boards, chairs, faculty and enthusiastic students, Ting says.
The seven programs and their chairs are Chemical Engineering and Nuclear option, Al Donatelli; Civil Engineering, Nate Gartner; Electrical and Computer Engineering, Craig Armiento; Mechanical Engineering, John McKelliget; and Plastics Engineering, Bob Malloy.
Ting had special praise for the chairs who, he says, were the ones who wrote the self-study reports required by ABET. These reports, which took half a year to prepare, had to be submitted prior to ABET’s arrival in June of last year.
The ABET process changed in the 1999-2000 period. Prior to that, the Board simply took into account facts such as the number of courses offered, the existence of labs, the curriculum, the number of faculty members, and so on.
“Now,” says Ting, “they want to know what kind of engineers you want to graduate and what kind of program you want to be. And you have to prove you’re doing it.”
This proof, he says, involves demonstrating how he alumni are succeeding, and the school has to get feedback from industry. There is much more involvement with stakeholders.
Ting points to the departmental advisory boards that Dean Krishna Vedula created about eight years ago as being “very helpful.”