ABET accreditation sparks new opportunities

UGLY-01Weber State University students and faculty are anxious and excited for what the outcome of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation will bring for  current and past students.

With the recent ABET accreditation for the computer science department, there are more opportunities for students in the future. This also helps Weber State University get recognized for the quality of its program.

Brian Rague, chair of the computer science department has been looking forward to the accreditation for a while. The department started progressing towards the accreditation a year and a half ago. ”

We already had a great program, but now we have proof,” said Rague.

Tina VanRiper, a student that the ABET committee interviewed last year has been looking forward to the program being accredited.

VanRiper is really excited for the program, she loves the favorable student-teacher ratio. “It’s great for me that I can have that relationship with my professor,” VanRiper said.

Founded in 1932, ABET is a nonprofit organization that has accredited colleges and universities in 24 countries. ABET accreditation is being sought after globally by institutions.

Abet.org states that the accreditation process is, “worth the effort . . . the process yields a wealth of information that programs can use to deliver the very best education for their students.”

According to abet.org, before an institution submits any formal requests for evaluation of a program, it must have processes for internal assessment already in place. These processes may take several years to develop.

During this preparation phase, a program must implement the assessment process for program educational objectives and student outcomes. Institutions must also demonstrate a continuous improvement loop as well as collect student work. Institutions must review the most up-to-date accreditation criteria: policies and procedure manuals which are updated every year.

The accreditation has a lot to do with the quality of the students and faculty. It means that the computer science department at Weber State University is internationally recognized for the quality of its work, and that the program is focused on learning outcomes and not teaching input.

The accreditation came through several weeks ago, allowing students who graduated in 2012 the same credentials as future graduates of the ABET accredited program.

With this accomplishment, Weber State University is on the map as a place where students can come and learn to thrive in computer sciences. Jared Smith, a current student in the computer science program is hopeful for what it means for him.

“It kind of made me impressed that Weber State is on the ball with things and that our program is quite impressive,” Smith said.

Smith thinks that it will help students’ future chance of employment immensely. “It makes us more recognized and respected,” Smith said.

With the computer science field constantly growing, finding a job right out of college may not be as difficult for computer science graduates.

“We get phone calls everyday about job openings and are asked what kind of students we are teaching,” said Rague.

For students looking for a major that may help fast track their careers right out of college, the computer science department at Weber State University may be just what they’re looking for.