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Union’s engineering program gets ABET accreditation

JACKSON, Tenn.Sept. 6, 2006 – Union University’s bachelor’s degree program in engineering has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET Inc., the recognized accrediting body of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology.

The announcement came to university officials Sept. 5 and caps a process that began in 2001, when Union hired Don Van to chair the university’s new engineering department.

The first class of engineering students began in the 2001-2002 academic year, and graduated in 2005. Following ABET policy, Union applied for accreditation immediately after that graduation. The ABET accreditation is retroactive to 2004 to include all graduates of Union’s engineering program.

Union University President David S. Dockery praised those who worked on the accreditation process, especially Van, Carla Sanderson, Union’s provost, and Barbara McMillin, associate provost and dean of instruction.

“Receiving ABET accreditation is a wonderful affirmation of the quality of the engineering program for both our current and future students,” Dockery said. “We are grateful to the board of trustees and to the engineering advisory council and all who have helped make this day a reality at Union University.”

One of the key elements of ABET accreditation is the requirement that programs continuously improve the quality of education provided. As part of this continuous improvement requirement, programs set specific, measurable goals for their students and graduates, assess their success at reaching those goals and improve their programs based on the results of their assessment.

In addition to providing colleges and universities a structured mechanism to assess, evaluate, and improve their programs, accreditation also helps students and their parents choose quality college programs, enables employers and graduate schools to recruit graduates they know are well prepared and is used by registration, licensure and certification boards to screen applicants.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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