LMU Engineering Programs Gain Accreditation

Loyola Marymount University’s undergraduate engineering programs – civil, electrical and mechanical engineering – have earned accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology after a rigorous review process.

“It’s wonderful to have the excellence of our faculty and programs externally recognized,” said Tina Choe, dean of LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering. “I want to thank our faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication to achieving this success.”

Members of the ABET Committee (from left to right): Nazmul Ula, Barbara Marino, Michael Manoogian, Don Kendall, Matt Siniawski
Members of the ABET Committee (from left to right): Nazmul Ula, Barbara Marino, Michael Manoogian, Don Kendall, Matt Siniawski

ABET issued the LMU programs a rare commendation citing, “The college provides direct financial support for engineering students to attend and make presentations at numerous professional conferences during the academic year. This level of support provided to undergraduate students is rare, and significantly expands the opportunity for students to interact with fellow students from other institutions and with professionals currently practicing in their respective fields, thereby significantly enhancing the students’ career opportunities.”

ABET, a nonprofit, ISO 9001 certified organization, accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. Accreditation is the process to determine if educational programs meet defined standards of quality.

As a part of the process, each program needs to articulate its mission, define student outcomes and specify what graduates can be expected to accomplish three to five years after graduation. This is in addition to student outcomes prescribed by ABET that a student must attain at the time of graduation, explained Nazmul Ula, associate dean and professor of electrical engineering and computer science, who led the college’s accreditation efforts.

“We need to prove how students are achieving these results, which some might consider the most difficult part of the process,” he said.

For each course offered, programs must engage in a similar process: articulate what will be accomplished, explain how the course will go about accomplishing it, and show the results. Programs, as a whole, must show continuous improvement through assessment and regularly identify areas for improvement.

Seaver College celebrates ABET accreditation
Seaver College celebrates ABET accreditation

“ABET accreditation is the most stringent accreditation process of any academic program,” Ula said. The programs are continually preparing for accreditation. In 2015, the college assembled an accreditation committee for ABET’s 2018 visit.

The three accredited undergraduate programs, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering, received the best possible accreditation visit outcome from ABET and have been recognized as among the best in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

ABET is a federation of societies that serve the interests of its 35 member societies, including the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, International Council on Systems Engineering and more. ABET represents more than 1.5 million professionals located in nearly every country in the world.

This story is reprinted with permission from LMU This Week.

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