The bachelor of science degree program in environmental 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 undergraduate major in 2002 and graduated its first environmental engineering student in 2005. A total of 39 students are currently enrolled in the state’s first environmental engineering undergraduate program, one of the few available in the Midwest.
“The undergraduate program was developed to address our nation’s need to have well-trained engineers capable of addressing problems with our infrastructure,” says Jerry Bayless, interim chair of the civil, architectural and environmental engineering department at UMR. “Environmental engineers are crucial for safe and adequate water supplies, safe disposal of domestic and industrial waste to control water and air pollution, and hazardous waste cleanup.”
With the new accreditation, UMR students enrolled in the program will be qualified to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, the first step in obtaining a professional engineers license. The ABET panel that evaluated UMR’s program was particularly impressed by the fact that the program features well-qualified faculty with strong records in scholarly activity, reasonable teaching loads and exceptional student access, Bayless says.
“Their report also noted that the campus provides an excellent physical plant and support personnel, resulting in an outstanding environment for students,” Bayless adds.
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.
“The ABET accreditation is a tribute to the effort of our students, faculty and staff,” says Dr. Warren K. Wray, UMR provost. “The baccalaureate program in environmental engineering has met the high standards established by ABET, which means students know they will receive a high-quality environmental engineering education. It’s a great recruitment tool.”
In addition to the undergraduate program, UMR offers a master’s degree in environmental engineering. The graduate program is unaccredited because it’s ABET’s policy that a program may be accredited at only one level (either undergraduate or graduate, but not both) in a particular curriculum at a particular institution.