University of West Florida Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering programs achieve new and renewed accreditation
The University of West Florida mechanical engineering and computer science programs recently achieved accreditation from the respective Engineering and Computing Accreditation Commissions of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. Additionally, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering received re-accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Accreditation signifies that the program meets rigorous industry standards and produces graduates who are prepared 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 pleased that the programs within the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering have received this well-deserved, international accreditation,” said Dr. George Ellenberg, provost and senior vice president. “Now more than ever, we are seeing UWF engineering graduates apply innovative solutions to issues that arise from our growing dependence on technology, and ABET accredited degrees strengthen each student’s position in a competitive market.”
The Department of Computer Science offers Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Computer Science and Cybersecurity, and a Bachelor of Science in Software Design and Development. Additionally, the department offers minors and certificates. In 2016, UWF was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
“Receiving the accreditation assures students that the program meets the quality standards of the computer science profession,” said Dr. Thomas Reichherzer, chair of the Department of Computer Science. “Students who graduate from an ABET-accredited program are also seen favorably by employers and graduate schools.”
UWF began offering a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in Fall 2016 as a direct response to the increased workforce demand in Northwest Florida. The program is student-centered, with a focus on graduating engineers who have real design experience, practical skills and are efficient communicators. Dr. Michael Reynolds, Department of Mechanical Engineering chair, says that this certification strengthens an already highly-esteemed program.
“Achieving ABET accreditation demonstrates that our Mechanical Engineering program is of high quality and will lead to employment and graduate opportunities for our students,” Reynolds said. “The accreditation is retroactive to all of our previous graduates. ABET accreditation is a major accomplishment for our department and is the culmination of a great effort from our faculty.”
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.
Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. ABET accreditation reviews look at program curricula, faculty, facilities, and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia and government, with expertise in the ABET disciplines.
ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization with ISO 9001:2015 certification. It currently accredits 4,005 programs at nearly 800 colleges and universities in 32 countries.
For more information about ABET, its member societies and the accreditation criteria used to evaluate programs, visit www.abet.org. For more information about the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering, visit uwf.edu/hmcse.