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ABET accredits three bachelor's degree programs

Teresa Hall
Teresa Hall

South Dakota State University’s bachelor’s degree programs in construction management, operations management and electronics engineering technology were recently accredited by the Applied and Natural Science and Engineering Technology Accreditation Commissions of ABET, respectively, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

The three degree programs now mean South Dakota State now has 44 accredited programs, exceeding the goal set in Impact 2018, the university’s strategic plan.

“The ABET accreditation gives an external validation of the quality of our programs,” said Teresa Hall, department head for construction and operations management. “The on-site evaluators gave us some very positive feedback in the exit interview with administration last fall. It was nice to hear we were doing good things, but they also gave us ideas to improve and we’ve integrated those. It’s good to know our programs measure up to our peers and stretch peers.”

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.

“Becoming ABET-accredited is a significant historic milestone for these three programs, which now join our five other ABET-accredited programs in the college,” said Lew Brown, dean of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering. “It took years of work to prepare these programs for the initial review by ABET, and I commend the excellent work of the COM department’s faculty and the leadership of Department Head Teresa Hall.”

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

“These accreditations will help us attract faculty as we continue to grow our programs,” Hall said, noting operations management is expanding into process improvement for food and beverage supply chains. “It should also help place CM, OM and EET graduates with employers by raising awareness of the high-quality programs here at SDSU.”

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, nongovernmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It currently accredits more than 3,700 programs at over 750 colleges and universities in 30 countries.

More information about ABET, its member societies and the accreditation criteria used to evaluate programs can be found at www.abet.org.