Engineering Programs Have Re-Accreditation Visit
This fall the GVSU School of Engineering was visited by external reviewers from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for re-accreditation of the engineering programs. ABET accreditation is important for a number of reasons. Accreditation assures that engineering programs meet quality standards set by the profession, and signifies adequate preparation for entry to the profession, including employment and graduate school. In addition, most states (including Michigan) require a person graduate from an ABET-accredited program in order to obtain a license as a professional engineer.
For programs that are ABET-accredited, such as those at GVSU, re-accreditation happens every six years. The re-accreditation process involves review of self-study reports for each program that document achievement of program objectives and outcomes in terms of graduates' knowledge, skills and abilities, continuous improvement processes and results, curriculum updates, and faculty and facility changes. In addition, a team assigned by ABET conducts a visit to campus to confirm and supplement what is contained in the reports. Self-study reports were written during the 2009-10 year and submitted for review during the summer of 2010. The ABET team visited GVSU September 26-28. During the visit, the team interviewed members of the university leadership team and the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, faculty and staff from the School of Engineering, current students, alumni, and employer partners. They also toured classroom and laboratory facilities on both the Pew and Allendale campuses, including the Keller Engineering Lab Building and Kennedy Hall of Engineering. Course and assessment materials were reviewed to verify student learning outcomes and program outcomes were met. These outcomes range from a graduate's ability to design systems, components and processes, to the ability to communicate effectively and function on multidisciplinary teams. Preliminary findings by the visiting team were very positive. The team noted that industry partnerships, the co-op program, the facilities, and the faculty were all strengths of the programs. In addition, the reviewers indicated how impressed they were with the students and alumni they met with and their enthusiasm for their studies at GVSU. Final reports will be issued by ABET regarding ongoing accreditation of the engineering programs during winter 2011, and re-accreditation status will be issued during the late summer of 2011. - Submitted by Chris Plouff