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Engineering Technology Program at Penn State Fayette gains reaccreditation

9/28/2007 —
UNIONTOWN - The Engineering Technology program at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus announces its reaccreditation by the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) of ABET, Inc., 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 (TAC of ABET). TAC of ABET is the only agency sanctioned by the federal government to accredit higher education programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. The programs receiving accreditation include Architectural Engineering Technology option in Building Engineering Technology, Building Environmental Systems Technology option in Building Engineering Technology, and Electrical Engineering Technology. These programs have been continuously accredited since 1983, 1977 and 1967 respectively.

    The criteria that each program must meet are defined by each professional society and published by TAC of ABET on its Web site at www.abet.org. Programs volunteer to be reviewed for accreditation, a process that takes more than a year to complete. Universities are reviewed at least every six years by a team of professional engineers and professors to determine if the criteria are being met. Those findings are presented to a commission of experienced program evaluators for a final vote on an accreditation action.

    Associate Professor of Engineering Dave Meredith notes that the review is very thorough. “They talk to administrators, faculty, students, graduates and their employers. They look at samples of homework, lab reports, oral reports, tests and exams. They review the professional activities of the faculty and the currency of laboratory equipment. They even look to see that you are continuously improving the program content.”

    Meredith, who has been involved with TAC of ABET for almost 20 years, was very pleased with the local results. “To have nationally-recognized professionals look at the quality of the programs you are delivering and give a positive review on all the criteria is outstanding. It proves that we are offering excellent educational opportunities at Penn State Fayette.” He adds, “The employers of our graduates prefer hiring from TAC of ABET-accredited programs because they know the quality that is implied. And as students mature in the workforce, those from TAC of ABET programs tend to move up in the organization.” Even students who choose to continue their education toward a bachelor of science degree benefit from the ease in articulating and transferring credits earned during their first two years.

    Penn State offers internationally-renowned programs in engineering and engineering technology. Penn State was one of the first institutions to offer degree programs in engineering technology, and Penn State Fayette is one of the few institutions in the region to offer engineering technology programs accredited by TAC of ABET. Penn State Fayette is also the only university that offers an TAC of ABET-accredited associate degree in engineering technology in southwestern Pennsylvania. Since fewer than half of the Engineering Technology programs in the United States are recognized by TAC of ABET, Penn State Fayette’s Engineering Technology program is in an exclusive group.

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