The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the addition of the Bachelor of Science degrees in mechanical systems engineering and electrical and computer systems engineering to UALR’s curriculum on Oct. 28.
The new degrees reflect the department’s efforts to align its programs with the needs and the expectations of its stakeholders, said Dr. Andrew Wright, an associate professor of systems engineering.
“These new curricula concentrate more heavily on disciplinary content, which will enhance graduates’ ability to achieveprofessional engineering licensure under the revised guidelines, while maintaining the systems concepts that have been the foundation of the curriculum since 1999,” Wright said.
The new degrees also align with the George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology mission to prepare career-ready students who can address the evolving needs of employers, said Dr. Lawrence Whitman, dean of the college.
“These two new degree programs address industry needs incorporating the disciplines of mechanical and electrical and computer engineering while maintaining the interdisciplinary nature of a systems approach to engineering. These type of engineers are in demand today and fit the kind of engineers needed in the 21st century,” Whitman said.
Thebachelor’s degree in systems engineering was the first UALR engineering degree to be accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the recognized global accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.
The new programs have been designed for ABET approval, and the department plans to begin the evaluation process in January 2017.