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Curricula and Accreditation

 

Curricula and Accreditation  

Engineering Accreditation and Engineering Technology Accreditation 

What is accreditation, and why is it important?  

Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-review process that helps to create and maintain quality educational programs. The agency responsible for accrediting Civil Engineering and Civil Engineering Technology programs is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc (ABET). ABET is a federation of 30 professional societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE.) Civil, Architectural, and Construction Engineering and Civil, Architectural, and Construction Engineering Technology all fall under ASCE oversight.

The Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) accredits civil engineering programs, while the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of ABET is responsible for civil engineering technology programs. To be granted accreditation status, a program must meet both the ABET minimum general criteria and the specific program criteria developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The accreditation process involves the periodic self-study, review, and examination of all phases of a program, from the institutional level (such as a school's financial commitment to the program) to the course materials and student projects in a specific class. During an accreditation visit, ABET program evaluators not only examine the quality of the educational program, they also provide feedback regarding the program's strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions for improvement. It is important to note that ABET does not rank programs or institutions, it only grants or denies accreditation.

The public, prospective students, student counselors, and parents can view accreditation as assurance of a quality education. ABET is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the sole agency responsible for accreditation of educational programs leading to degrees in engineering or engineering technology. For more detailed information about engineering accreditation, please visit the ABET website at www.abet.org.