26th Oct, 2010 | Source : ABET accreditation
By Keryl Cryer
It’s great that you are exploring a technical degree as part of a future course of study. After all, careers in these rewarding fields make our world a better place. Technical professionals design, build, and maintain the devices, systems, software, materials, and structures that improve everything from safe water systems to computing systems, from biomedical devices to communications devices. Technical professionals also have the potential to earn substantially more upon graduation than those in non-technical fields. As you consider if an applied science, computing, engineering, or technology degree program may be right for you, there’s something that you should look for – programs that have received accreditation from ABET.
First of all, what does “accreditation” mean?
Accreditation is a process in which an educational program is reviewed to determine if it meets certain standards. Accreditation in the U.S. is voluntary. However, over 3100 technical programs at some 600 colleges and universities in 21 countries have chosen to undergo the ABET accreditation process. Why? Because accreditation provides great benefits for the programs and their students:
- Accreditation requires colleges and universities to assess all aspects of their programs – including student-faculty interactions, curricula, and classrooms and lab facilities –and work to improve their programs’ quality.
- Accreditation helps students and their parents choose a program that professionals in that field have deemed suitable to prepare graduates for entry-level practice.
- Students who complete accredited programs have the skills employers are looking for – strong technical competence as well as professional skills – effective communication skills, knowledge of contemporary issues, teamwork, and others.
You mentioned “ABET.” What is that?
ABET is a federation of 29 professional and technical societies that collaborate to evaluate and accredit degree programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. ABET accredits program over a wide range of disciplines – from electrical engineering to computer science to industrial hygiene to civil engineering technology. More than 85,000 students graduate from ABET-accredited programs each year!
What are the advantages of attending an ABET-accredited program?
ABET accreditation assures that the program from which you graduate has met quality standards set by the profession and is key to your professional future:
- ABET accreditation is a “peer-review” process. Experts who teach and work in technical fields know first-hand what it takes to be successful. They set the criteria against which programs are evaluated and participate in program reviews. Industry strongly supports ABET accreditation – many corporations only hire graduates from ABET- accredited programs. Because ABET accreditation requires regular, comprehensive evaluations, accredited programs have demonstrated their commitment to assessing and improving their quality, both now and in the future.
- Many licensure, registration, and certification boards require graduation from an ABET-accredited program. In addition, ABET accreditation is required for admission to many graduate school programs.
- ABET accreditation is recognized throughout much of the world, and a degree from an ABET-accredited program gives graduates a decided advantage as they enter an increasingly global marketplace.
To learn more about ABET accreditation, and view a list of accredited programs, visit www.abet.org.