Integrated Engineering Program at SUU Receives Highest AccreditationNovember 03, 2005
Author: Renee Ballenger
The Integrated Engineering program in the College of Computing, Integrated Engineering and Technology, at Southern Utah University, has received accreditation from the highest-accrediting agency in the industry. It is the first program of its kind to be accredited nationally by ABET, Inc.
ABET, Inc., established in 1932, is the recognized U.S. accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. Accreditation is a process in academia that ensures the quality of postsecondary education students receive.
The ABET team, made up of professionals and scholars of the industry, first visited the SUU campus in Spring 2004, just into the third year of the new Integrated Engineering program. From then, they scrutinized every aspect of the program, to determine everything from the efficiency of lab equipment, to interviews with students, to a dissecting of components of each course in the curriculum.
In the last 10 years, a compelling need for “generalist engineers” who can perform many of the engineering functions for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies has dominated the industry. In fact, during the period of 1995 to 2001, in which 380,000 new jobs were created in manufacturing in the USA, virtually all of those new positions came from small and medium-sized manufacturing companies.
The new bachelor’s degree program in Integrated Engineering is designed to
meet the particular needs of these small and medium-sized companies. Nowadays, many of the small companies cannot afford to hire a fleet of engineering specialists. The IE degree produces an interdisciplinary engineering generalist who can deal with most smaller companies’ engineering challenges, limiting the expenses of multiple specialists.
Integrated Engineering is a niche program of SUU, the only one of its kind in the state of Utah and one of only a handful in the country.
“Our Integrated Engineering program is preparing a major contribution to economic development in our region and beyond,” SUU President Steve Bennion states. “We are pleased to have a very capable faculty team providing the leadership and instruction for this critically-needed program which students want to pursue as well.”
“We are pleased to see that the quality of our Integrated Engineering program is ratified by the national standards of the profession,” SUU Provost Abe Harraf states. “The Faculty of the IE program should be commended for their dedication and tireless efforts in meeting the rigorous standards of the national accrediting body. Accreditation of our IE program is yet another testimony to the quality of our faculty and academic excellence at SUU.”
Alumni of the SUU program are successful across the board in a variety of career paths. Their average starting salary is $35,000, with one noted as earning $70,000 in his job in the oil industry in Wyoming. Other alumni have started their promising careers at companies like Bulloch Brothers Engineering, Deseret Labs and UDOT.
Another benefit of the Integrated Engineering curriculum is that it is designed in such a way that makes students marketable both locally, and beyond. Cameron Gay, an alum of SUU’s IE, wanted to be an engineer, but wanted to stay close to home (Richfield), too.
He is now at UDOT as a rotational engineer—that is, he rotates every six months to different UDOT offices across the state, and then afterward he gets to choose what office he wants to work in permanently.
SUU received the maximum number of years of accreditation before another ABET evaluation is necessary. The Accreditation extends retroactively from October 1, 2003. SUU and its IE program will be listed in the forthcoming ABET Accreditation Yearbook and on the ABET web site www.abet.org
To find out more about the Integrated Engineering program at SUU, go to http://www.suu.edu/ciet/et/engineering/
Through its more than 100-year history, Southern Utah University has evolved from a teacher training school into its current role as a comprehensive, regional university to 6,000 students from across the globe. It serves the southern region of Utah and contiguous counties in surrounding states with undergraduate and graduate programs in six colleges. People of the region look to the University for outreach services, culture, economic and business development, higher learning, regional history, public affairs, major academic specialties, and significant entertainment and recreation. Accentuated by the notable, economic value of its services, SUU's hallmark is its quality staff, faculty and academics.