University of South Carolina Aiken's Engineering Program Earns Coveted Accreditation
Aiken, SC (10/18/2019) — The University of South Carolina Aiken Industrial Process Engineering Program earned the stamp of approval by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Engineering Accreditation Commission.
ABET, an agency that accredits academic programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology, provides a global standard for education.
"Receiving this accreditation means our students will graduate from USC Aiken ready for engineering careers regionally, nationally, and internationally," said Dr. Bethany Fralick, USC Aiken engineering professor and the architect behind the degree program.
"Many industries, companies, and graduate programs require students to have undergraduate degrees from an ABET accredited institution. USC Aiken's Industrial Process Engineering graduates will now have more employment opportunities and increased potential for advancement in their professions through licensure and certification."
Not only is the coveted accreditation important to employers, it's vital to the viability of institutions' degree programs. The USC Aiken Industrial Process Engineering degree program is now internationally recognized for quality in curriculum, faculty, institutional support, and community support.
"This accreditation was not based on classes alone, the entire institution was evaluated based on best practices and continuous improvement," said Fralick.
"Without the support of USC Aiken and the community as a whole, this milestone would not have been possible."
USC Aiken's engineering program is just three years old, but its approach to building the curriculum and program has been on the fast track since day one. Fralick and other colleagues worked closely with industry leaders when developing the degree program. This collaboration not only led to the ABET accreditation but also helped meet workforce demands and expectations.
"The program has come a very long way and reached its pinnacle with ABET accreditation," Fralick said. "The team worked diligently for three years to meet and even exceed ABET requirements"
"With ABET accreditation, students, employers and the society we serve can be confident that a program meets the quality standards that produce graduates prepared to enter a global workforce," according to the organization's website.
"At ABET, our purpose is to assure confidence in university programs in STEM disciplines. Our approach, the standards we set and the quality we guarantee, inspires confidence in those who aim to build a better world - one that is safer, more efficient, more comfortable and more sustainable."
At USC Aiken, the recently installed -- and now accredited -- industrial process engineering degree is one of the more popular programs. The number of students seeking this degree may now increase.
"We look forward to increased enrollments and the opportunity to provide intellectual growth, continuous improvement, and quality degrees to future engineers," Fralick said.
Currently, less than 800 institutions in more than 30 countries have received ABET accreditation.
"This is a monumental hurdle for any engineering program and something to really be proud of," said Dr. Chad Leverette, interim dean of the College of Sciences and Engineering at USC Aiken.
"For our students, this is huge and adds a national recognition to the degree they receive from us. Not only are all of our students receiving this as part of their degrees going forward, but our previous two graduating classes were also included in this important designation."
USC Aiken graduated its first Bachelor of Science degrees in industrial process engineering in May 2018.