If you are pursuing a degree a degree in computing, engineering or applied science, you will need to familiarize yourself with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and what it does. ABET, as it goes by, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that sets the global standard for post-secondary programs in computing, engineering and applied science. The purpose of setting the standard is to make it possible to accredit college programs and to inspire confidence in technology education.
Why is an ABET Accreditation So Important?
A specialized accreditation like the one offered by ABET is voluntary. Even though programs can pick and choose the accreditation organizations to apply to, it is important for students to understand the importance of choosing a program that has chosen to be ABET-accredited.
Being accredited through the ABET organization shows that a specific college program has met or exceeded the very high standards set by ABET. Since these standards are so high, students who enroll in programs with this valued credential know that the curriculum they are studying will help them lead the way in innovation and anticipate the changing needs of the public. Benefits of this voluntary credential include:
- Students can be confident in their education
- Students can attract employers looking for grads of ABET-accredited programs
- Graduates can be confident in knowing they are ready for the workforce
- Credits can be transferred to other schools
- Schools can show their commitment to applied science, computing and engineering technology programs
How does ABET Accredit Collegiate Programs?
College programs cannot earn their credential overnight. It typically takes 18 months to complete the accreditation process once you apply. The department heads will start by submitting their application and getting ready for the Readiness Review. This is where the school will show the board samples of student work and assignments that professors give throughout a semester.
After the Readiness Review has been completed, and all of the appropriate documents have been prepared, the school will submit an evaluation request. After this is received, the on-site visit will be scheduled. In the meantime, the Self-Study Report must be completed, where the department will demonstrate that they are currently in compliance with all of the organization’s criteria and policies. Completing this report can take year to complete because it is all encompassing about different aspects of the program. A decision will come through after the site visit no later than August 31.
What is the Criteria for Getting Accredited?
It is important that college programs realize that the criteria for accreditation changes from cycle to cycle. Each degree type has its own set of criteria that a program must meet. The board of accreditation will look at the following during the assessment: program educational objectives, student outcomes, assessment, evaluation, curriculum, facilities, institutional support, and continuous improvement.
If you are convinced that you should take courses through a program recognized by an organization with a worldwide presence, it is time to search for ABET-accredited programs. Once you have a list of schools with an active accreditation you can begin to compare the professors and school settings to see which environment is best for you.
Compare 2-year, 4-year, and graduate programs with a credential through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and earn a technology degree that is more valuable than others.