The UALR Civil and Construction Engineering program has received accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
ABET accreditation is an important milestone because it demonstrates the program has met quality standards set by the civil and construction engineering profession, said Program Coordinator Dr. Nickolas S. Jovanovic.
â€śNo other university in the U.S. offers a program that is accredited in both civil engineering and construction engineering,â€ť Jovanovic added. â€śTo receive accreditation in just over four years is an amazing accomplishment.â€ť
The accreditation process has been continuous since the fall of 2009, when Jovanovic said he was first approached about it.
â€śThe program could not have received accreditation any sooner than this because ABET will not accept a request for evaluation until at least one student has graduated from the program,â€ť he said.
The initial class of three students graduated in May 2013, leading to an ABET on-site review in October 2013 and making the initial accreditation retroactive to Oct. 1, 2012.
UALR alumni of the first two graduating classes (May 2013 and May 2014) can now state they have accredited degrees, said Jovanovic.
One of the first requirements for licensure as a professional engineer is to have graduated with an accredited engineering degree, according to Jovanovic.
â€śIn civil engineering, many jobs require licensure. Even for those jobs that do not require licensure, promotion opportunities may be severely limited without licensure,â€ť Jovanovic said.
â€śI am very pleased that all of the graduates of the program, from the initial graduating class onward, will be able to pursue licensure as their careers progress.â€ť
UALR offers the only program in Arkansas that requires students to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, the first of two engineering licensing exams, in order to graduate, according to Jovanovic.
UALR civil and construction engineering students must also pass the Associate Constructor certification exam in order to graduate, which means graduates are prepared to work in either engineering design or construction upon completion.
The UALR civil and construction engineering program will appear on the list of accredited civil engineering programs when the ABET updates the list of accredited programs on its website on Oct. 1. It will also appear on the list of accredited construction engineering programs.
Civil and construction engineering majors are prepared to work for engineering design firms, construction companies, and government agencies. They are involved in the design and construction of infrastructure to enhance citizensâ€™ quality of life, in keeping the economy running, and contributing to public safety.