The bachelor of science degree program in architectural engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla has been accredited by ABET Inc., formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
The accreditation follows the faculty’s first attempt for the recognition for this program. UMR established the major in 2001 and graduated its first architectural engineering student in 2004. A total of 126 students are currently enrolled in the program, which is the only architectural engineering program in the state.
“This degree program was developed to address the state’s need in the area of architectural engineering,” says Dr. John Myers, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at UMR. “The greatest beneficiaries of this accreditation are our students, who will require less practical experience prior to being eligible to take the professional engineering license exam.”
Only a handful of architectural engineering programs in the United States are accredited. The ABET panel that evaluated UMR’s program was particularly impressed by the fact that all the programs in the civil, architectural and environmental engineering department require students to complete a senior capstone project and work with students from different engineering disciplines.
“Our students all work together to design a building or related structure,” Myers explains. “The ABET review panel liked how the students have to work with students outside their discipline. It’s more representative of a real-world experience in that fashion.”
Programs accredited by ABET are required to continuously improve their educational quality by setting specific and measurable goals for students, assessing the achievement of these goals, and improving their programs based on the assessment results. Accreditation helps prospective students choose programs that will prepare them well for their future careers.
“This is a culmination of many years of hard work on the part of students, faculty, staff and university administration,” says Dr. William Schonberg, interim dean of the UMR School of Engineering. “Everybody contributed and everybody’s hard work paid off in the end. Congratulations to the program and department.”
Later this fall, another ABET panel will review the department’s undergraduate environmental engineering program, which became the state’s first when it was established in 2002. It’s one of the few available in the Midwest and had its first graduates in 2005.