Fully accredited engineering programs

The computer engineering and mechanical engineering programs at University of Washington Bothell have received their first full accreditation from ABET, the accrediting agency for programs in natural science, computing and engineering.

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The computer engineering accreditation is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2014, and mechanical engineering accreditation is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2015.

“It was a monumental team effort,” said Chancellor Wolf Yeigh, who also is a professor of engineering. Yeigh singled out team leaders for special thanks: Associate Professor John Bridge in mechanical engineering and Senior Lecturer Johnny Lin in computer engineering.

Elaine Scott, dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics and a professor in the engineering and mathematics division, said the first accreditation involves a site visit by an outside team of faculty or industry experts. They conduct a comprehensive review of the program, including faculty, staff, curriculum and institutional support. The review also looks at the outcomes for the first graduates, which is why the accreditation is retroactive.

“It’s a major endeavor,” said Scott, but also a necessary one. “Many employers will not hire people unless they come from an accredited program, and a big employer in our backyard is Boeing.”

The electrical engineering program, accredited in 2012, is coming up for its six-year review.

“It’s doing the same thing, but the first time is always the hardest,” Scott said.

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