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Engineering Programs Earn ABET Accreditation

December 9, 2014

UC Merced’s undergraduate degree programs in environmental engineering, materials science engineering and mechanical engineering have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. ABET accreditation demonstrates a program’s commitment to providing its students with a quality education.

Formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, ABET is an organization that accredits programs, not institutions; UC Merced as an institution is Science and Engineering buildingaccredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

“Earning ABET accreditation is one more benchmark for our maturing campus,” said Erik Rolland, interim dean of the School of Engineering. “It shows that our programs meet the standards of the engineering profession, which eases the process of professional licensure, registration and certification.”

Some employers, like the federal government, require that job candidates in certain fields have graduated from ABET-accredited programs. This accreditation can also open doors to government-sponsored funding in the form of student loans, grants and scholarships.

ABET accreditation is a voluntary, peer-review process that requires comprehensive, periodic evaluations. The evaluations, conducted by teams of volunteer professionals working in industry, government, academia, 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.

ABET is a not-for-profit organization, owned and operated by its more than 30 professional and technical member societies.  An internationally respected organization with some 2,200 volunteers, ABET has set the higher-educational standards in its fields for more than 80 years.  More information about ABET, its member societies, and the evaluation criteria used to accredit programs can be found at www.abet.org.