UA Little Rock geology program first in the world to earn ABET accreditation

In the upper right photo, members of the UA Little Rock Department of Earth Sciences faculty are pictured at Big Rock Quarry in North Little Rock. Pictured, from left to right, back row: Jeff Connelly, professor and associate dean of Donaghey College of Engineering & Information Technology; Tom Colby, visiting assistant professor; and Laura Ruhl, assistant professor. Pictured, from left to right, front row: Beth McMillan, chairperson of the Department of Earth Sciences; Rene Shroat-Lewis, assistant professor; Josh Spinler, instructor; and Michael DeAngelis, assistant professor. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s bachelor’s degree in geology has been accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission (ANSAC) of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. 

ABET accreditation assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.

“We are proud and excited to be the first geology program in the United States and the world to receive accreditation from ABET,” said Dr. Beth McMillan, chairperson of the Department of Earth Sciences at UA Little Rock. “The accreditation process is ongoing and will help us to ensure that our students are well prepared to understand the Earth, its impact on us, and our impact on it.”

The Department of Earth Sciences offers a bachelor’s degree in geology with two concentration options: geology and environmental geology. The curriculum is interdisciplinary, integrating chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and engineering with the fundamentals of geology. The curriculum provides a foundation for signature experiences including field work, undergraduate research, internship opportunities, and professional development. About 50 students are enrolled in UA Little Rock’s geology program.

ABET accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor, and master degree levels.

With ABET accreditation, students, employers, and society can be confident that a program meets the quality standards that produce graduates prepared to enter a global workforce. Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, the accreditation criteria focus on what students experience and learn.

Sought worldwide, ABET’s voluntary peer-review process is highly respected because it adds critical value to academic programs in the technical disciplines, where quality, precision, and safety are of the utmost importance.

ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). It currently accredits 3,709 programs at over 750 colleges and universities in 30 countries.

For more information about UA Little Rock’s Bachelor’s degree program in geology, visit http://ualr.edu/earthsciences/.

In the upper right photo, members of the UA Little Rock Department of Earth Sciences faculty are pictured at Big Rock Quarry in North Little Rock. Pictured, from left to right, back row: Jeff Connelly, professor and associate dean of Donaghey College of Engineering & Information Technology; Tom Colby, visiting assistant professor; and Laura Ruhl, assistant professor. Pictured, from left to right, front row: Beth McMillan, chairperson of the Department of Earth Sciences; Rene Shroat-Lewis, assistant professor; Josh Spinler, instructor; and Michael DeAngelis, assistant professor. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications. 

 

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