ABET Accredited Online Engineering Degrees & Schools
Quality education is a key determinant of a successful engineering career. As prospective engineers map out their academic journeys, understanding ABET accreditation and its impact on future careers is paramount.
What Is ABET Accreditation?
ABET, an acronym for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, is a highly esteemed accreditation body that validates post-secondary degree programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology at both associate and bachelor degree levels.
Does ABET Accreditation Matter?
ABET accreditation serves as an assurance of quality, ensuring that an engineering program has met standards essential for producing graduates ready to enter the global workforce. For budding engineers, selecting an ABET accredited engineering program is a strategic move towards enhanced academic credibility and better career prospects.
How Does ABET Accreditation Work?
The ABET accreditation process, quite like a well-conducted engineering project, is meticulous, comprehensive, and data-driven. It starts with the higher learning institution voluntarily seeking accreditation for its program. Having done this, the other processes begin;
- Comprehensive Institutional Review
Aspiring ABET accredited engineering schools kick-start the accreditation journey by preparing a thorough self-study report. This report demonstrates your compliance with the ABET criteria and policies. If the institution is getting accredited for the first time, it must undergo a Readiness Review.
- In-person Assessment
Upon receiving the self-study report, a team of ABET professionals conducts an in-person evaluation of the institution. The institution goes ahead to fill out a Request for Evaluation (RFE) form to invite the ABET team for evaluation. The team then investigates the faculty, facilities, and institutional support, ensuring they adhere to the objectives highlighted in the self-study report.
- Curriculum Evaluation
A significant element of the evaluation lies in assessing the program’s curriculum. The evaluation determines if the curriculum aligns with ABET’s standards for breadth and depth, spanning foundational concepts in the specific discipline. The balance between theory and practical application, the coursework’s relevance to industry needs, and the inclusion of emerging subjects in the field are under scrutiny.
- Assessment of Faculty
The evaluator team gauges the qualifications and teaching efficacy of the faculty. Their educational backgrounds, professional experiences, research contributions, student engagement, and dedication to teaching are all aspects considered in this process.
- Scrutiny of Student Outcomes
A pivotal component of ABET accreditation involves the evaluation of student performance and results. ABET ensures that the program reflects in students’ performances. Some parts reviewed include students’ problem-solving skills, their ability to design and carry out experiments, and their capacity to collaborate.
- Ongoing Improvement
ABET mandates that programs should integrate a regular review and continuous improvement process. Such a mechanism ensures that the program adapts to the evolving needs of the industry and sustains its relevance.
- Final Evaluation and Decision
Upon the completion of the evaluation, the report proceeds to the ABET commission for a final review. The commission then makes the ultimate accreditation decision based on the evaluation findings.
- Recurrent Reviews
It is vital to recognize that ABET accreditation is not a static achievement but requires regular review. These reviews, typically conducted every six years, ensure the program maintains its alignment with ABET standards and upholds continuous improvement.
The systematic and rigorous nature of this approach ensures that ABET accredited engineering programs meet the highest quality benchmarks, thereby preparing graduates to navigate the complex and dynamic world of engineering.
ABET Accreditation Requirements
For an engineering program to be ABET accredited, certain criteria must be met. And these criteria are not limited to a well-structured curriculum, adequate resources, and continuous improvement. The learning environment must also be conducive enough. ABET will periodically check back to confirm the program’s accreditation status.
What is an ABET Accredited Engineering Program?
An ABET accredited engineering program is a program that has undergone rigorous evaluation by ABET and has proven to meet its stringent educational standards. These programs prepare graduates to competently practice engineering at the professional level.
How Many Engineering Schools Are ABET Accredited?
According to ABET, they have accredited 4,564 programs at 895 colleges and universities in 40 countries.
Types of ABET Accredited Programs
ABET accredits associate degree programs that prepare graduates for application-oriented practice. These include engineering technician programs in various disciplines.
ABET accredits bachelor’s degree programs that prepare graduates for professional practice in fields such as aerospace, biomedical, chemical, and electrical engineering.
Though ABET primarily accredits associate and bachelor degree programs, certain universities voluntarily request ABET accreditation for their master’s degree programs.
Benefits of Attending an ABET Accredited School
Choosing an ABET accredited program to pursue an engineering degree offers several notable advantages. Here’s a deeper look at the benefits that can have a profound impact on a future engineer’s academic and professional journey;
- Quality Assurance
The ABET accreditation stamp signifies that a program meets the rigorous standards set by industry and academia. It assures students that they will receive a quality education that aligns with industry needs, which is critical for their professional growth and success.
- Global Recognition
ABET accreditation is recognized globally, giving graduates an edge in the international job market. It validates the quality of their education, thereby expanding their career opportunities beyond geographical boundaries.
- Enhanced Career Opportunities
Employers often prefer candidates with degrees from ABET accredited engineering schools as it assures them that the graduates have the requisite skills and knowledge for the job. This preference can translate into higher employability and career advancement opportunities for ABET-accredited program graduates.
- Readiness for Professional Engineering Licensure
Regions worldwide commonly stipulate that candidates seeking to undertake engineering licensure examinations must be graduates of an ABET accredited program. Therefore, enrollment in an ABET-accredited school forms a critical step for those aiming to secure professional engineering licenses.
- Access to Exclusive Scholarships
An extensive array of scholarships, grants, and fellowships within the engineering realm specifically target students enrolled in ABET-accredited programs. This exclusive financial support can alleviate the financial strain often associated with higher education, thereby making it more attainable.
- Pathway to Advanced Education
Universities often require students to have graduated from an ABET-accredited program for admission into postgraduate engineering programs. This accreditation ensures the student’s undergraduate education is solid and prepares them adequately for advanced study.
- Participation in Cutting-Edge Research
ABET accredited engineering programs frequently maintain robust connections with industry partners and research establishments, which can offer students the chance to engage in revolutionary research activities. These opportunities can be instrumental in fostering inventive thinking and ensuring students remain informed of the most recent advancements in their field of study.
By leveraging these benefits, students attending ABET-accredited schools position themselves advantageously for a successful engineering career. Not only do they acquire a solid educational foundation, but they also gain a competitive edge in the job market and ensure they are well-prepared for the evolving demands of the engineering profession.
Career Options for Engineers that Graduate from ABET Accredited Schools
Engineering graduates from ABET-accredited schools have a lot of career options. It all depends on their area of specialization. They can end up becoming an aerospace engineer, biomedical engineer, chemical engineer, electrical engineer, or environmental engineer, among others.
An ABET accreditation signifies a higher quality of educational standards, best practices, and level of knowledge. It ensures the program meets industry standards, boosts career prospects, and opens the doors to myriad professional opportunities.