UA Little Rock Engineering and Information Technology programs receive accreditation

UA Little Rock George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology

Five University of Arkansas at Little Rock degree programs from the George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology have earned accreditation this fall.

Accreditation is a voluntary, peer-reviewed process that evaluates many factors, including curriculum, educational facilities, institutional support, faculty expertise, student performance, and outcomes. Many employers require degrees from accredited programs for employment in certain technical fields.

“An accredited degree is critical for our programs. Accreditation is a process, and this accreditation of a new program and reaccreditation of existing programs indicates the quality of our programs,” said Dr. Lawrence Whitman, dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology. “We appreciate all the work that goes into making the programs successful. This brings the total of ABET accredited degrees in EIT to 13, more than any other institution in the state, which indicates the breadth of quality programs in our college.”

The Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is the recognized global accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. 

The Bachelor of Science in electrical and computer systems engineering in the Department of Systems Engineering received accreditation from ABET for the first time. The program was approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in 2016 and offers a comprehensive curriculum in electrical and computer engineering topics that prepares graduates for the job market.

“It additionally prepares them to succeed in the graduate school, as well as in the Fundamentals of Engineering examination in the process of obtaining a professional engineering license,” said Dr. Kamran Iqbal, professor of systems engineering and program coordinator. “Our ECSE curriculum includes a series of courses that introduce systems engineering concepts at an undergraduate level. These courses provide students with a holistic view of the product design and development cycle in order to enhance their marketability and engineering skills.”

The four recently reaccredited programs include the Associate of Engineering Technology and Bachelor of Science degrees in mechanical engineering technology in and the Associate of Engineering Technology and Bachelor of Science degrees in electronics and computer engineering technology.

Dr. Srikanth Pidugu, chair of the Department of Engineering Technology, said the mechanical engineering technology and electronics and computer engineering technology programs have been preparing college students for successful careers ever since they were first accredited in the 1980s.

“Our programs have successfully gone through evaluation by ABET and received reaccreditation every six years, which is a testament to the quality of our engineering technology programs,” Pidugu said.

ABET accredits approximately 3,600 programs at more than 700 colleges and universities in 29 countries. Each year, over 2,200 volunteers from 35 member societies contribute to ABET’s goal of assuring confidence in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology education. These volunteers serving as program evaluators, committee and council members, commissioners, and board members. 

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