Computer Science, Information Science programs earn continued ABET accreditation at UA Little Rock

UALR sign at the entrance on S. University Dr near University Plaza on January 28, 2016.

Two undergraduate programs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics earned reaccreditation this fall.

UA Little Rock’s Bachelor of Science degree programs in computer science and information science received reaccreditation from the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, the recognized global accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. The reaccreditation status is good through Sept. 30, 2026.

“Accreditation is an external evaluation of the quality of our programs,” said Dr. Lawrence Whitman, dean of the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. “The process by ABET is rigorous, and I am thankful for the hard work put in by the chairs, faculty, and students to ensure the continuous improvement and quality in the curricula, resulting in the successful reaccreditation of the two programs.”

Reaccreditation 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.

The Department of Computer Science initially accredited in 1990 and the first Computer Science program accredited in the state, houses seven faculty members, 216 undergraduate students, and 23 graduate students. Additionally, the department offers a master’s degree in computer science and a Ph.D. in computer and information science.

“Accreditation of undergraduate degree programs by ABET reinforces the confidence prospective, current, and graduating students can have in the B.S. in Computer Science program,” said Dr. Albert Baker, interim chair of the Department of Computer Science. “The department’s areas of opportunity for our students enable undergraduate students to participate in projects outside the classroom. These areas include cybersecurity, virtual and augmented reality, data visualization, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and mobile, smart systems, and software for IoT (Internet of Things). These opportunities in an ABET-accredited degree program make UA Little Rock an outstanding place to study computer science.”

The Department of Information Science has 13 faculty members, 145 undergraduate students, and 178 graduate students. Additionally, the department offers a bachelor’s degree in web design and development, an information technology minor, and graduate certificates in information quality and data science, as well as a master’s degree and doctorate in bioinformatics, information quality, and information science.

“We are committed to keeping our curriculum academically solid and current with today’s computing careers,” said Dr. Elizabeth Pierce, chair of the Department of Information Science. “Since the web has become the major platform for how people and organizations work with their data, we have constructed our degree plan around what we see as the three main interacting themes that characterize the information science field: its interdisciplinary nature, the information systems, and cloud technologies that support the information life cycle, and how to better serve the people and organizations that need to derive insights from their data.”

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