FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153


Marshall University’s undergraduate engineering program attains ABET accreditation

Program enrollment has doubled since it was started in 2006

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. Marshall’s University’s bachelor of science degree program in engineering has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.  ABET accreditation demonstrates a program’s commitment to providing its students with a quality education.

“The action taken by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET to accredit Marshall University’s bachelor of science in engineering program is a very important step in the continued evolution and expansion of engineering at Marshall,” Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp said. “It is the standard by which engineering programs of quality are measured. One of the key outcome objectives of our program is to prepare students to become licensed professional engineers. In order to even be considered, applicants must have graduated from an ABET-accredited program. We are extremely pleased to have earned program accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.”

Accreditation is a voluntary, peer-review process that requires programs to undergo comprehensive, periodic evaluations.  The evaluations, conducted by teams of volunteer professionals working in industry, government, academe, and private practice within the ABET disciplines, focus on program curricula, faculty, facilities, institutional support, and other important areas. 

One of the key elements of ABET accreditation is the requirement that programs continuously improve the quality of education provided.  As part of this continuous improvement requirement, programs set specific, measurable goals for their students and graduates, assess their success at reaching those goals, and improve their programs based on the results of their assessment. 

In addition to providing colleges and universities a structured mechanism to assess, evaluate, and improve their programs, accreditation also helps students and their parents choose quality college programs, enables employers and graduate schools to recruit graduates they know are well-prepared, and is used by registration, licensure, and certification boards to screen applicants.

ABET is a not-for-profit organization, owned and operated by its more than 25 professional and technical member societies.  An internationally respected organization with some 1,500 volunteers, ABET has set the higher-educational standards in its fields for nearly 75 years.  More information about ABET, its member societies, and the evaluation criteria used to accredit programs can be found at www.abet.org.

In January 2006, Marshall’s Board of Governors approved a bachelor of science degree in engineering, to be offered in the College of Information Technology and Engineering’s  Weisberg Division of Engineering and Computer Science.

Four students graduated in the first class from this new program in 2009. Marshall was then eligible to apply for accreditation, which it did in January 2009.

Currently, 163 students are enrolled in Marshall’s undergraduate engineering program, a total that is nearly double the number of students in the program when it was started. The total undergraduate enrollment for the Weisberg Division of Engineering and Computer Science is 271.

Sen. Robert Plymale, chair of the Senate Education Committee, was the lead sponsor of legislation in 2004 that led to the start of Marshall’s engineering program.

“This accreditation validates the collaborative and cooperative efforts among higher education, government and students to bring quality engineering education back to Marshall University,” Plymale said. “I’m just glad, as an elected official, to have played a major part in expanding opportunities to educate the next generation of transportation professionals for our State and the Nation.”

Betsy Dulin, dean of CITE, said she is elated with the accreditation.

“We’ve always been proud of our outstanding engineering faculty and students at Marshall,” Dulin said. “This is a direct result of their hard work and dedication to the engineering profession.”

For more information about Marshall’s bachelor of science degree program in engineering, visit http://www.marshall.edu/cite/.

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For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197