Press Release for Wednesday, October 15, 2003

UNF announces accreditation of two programs

The accreditation of two programs with major implications for the economy of the First Coast was announced today at the University of North Florida.


UNF President John Delaney announced that the bachelor’s degree programs in civil engineering and information systems have received national accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Both programs are housed in UNF’s College of Computing, Engineering and Construction.

Delaney said the accreditations are an important milestone for the University as well as the First Coast. “The path to becoming a licensed professional engineer in Florida requires graduation from an ABET accredited curriculum, among other stringent education and employment criteria. Hence, ABET accreditation of UNF’s engineering programs assures its graduates an opportunity for professional growth and provides a pool of local engineering talent for First Coast companies,” he said.

Delaney added that UNF’s information systems program is a long-established one, but accreditation is a new development. UNF joins the charter class of only six ABET accredited programs in the United States.

Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton said the accreditations will play an important role in economic development. “We're at an exciting time in Jacksonville - our potential for economic growth is stronger than ever. Now that these programs have been accredited, the workforce we train right here will have even better credentials and that reflects well overall on our city,” he said.

UNF’s civil engineering program graduated its first students in August 2002 and was reviewed for accreditation in October 2002. A program is not eligible for accreditation until a student has graduated. This accreditation covers UNF’s initial class of civil engineering graduates. UNF joins more than 200 US schools with accredited civil engineering degree programs.

Dr. Neal Coulter, dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction said the ABET accreditation is the quality indicator for programs across the country. “It says to students that a UNF degree is recognized by professionals in the field as providing a solid career foundation. ABET accreditation is something we must achieve and maintain for our students and their employers,” he stressed.

Other ABET-accredited bachelor’s programs in the college are computer science and electrical engineering. UNF’s new mechanical engineering program will have ABET review in November 2003, with final accreditation action in July 2004. The college’s bachelor’s degree in Building Construction Management is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education.

ABET, Inc., the recognized accreditator for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology, is a federation of 31 professional and technical societies representing these fields. ABET currently accredits some 2,500 programs at over 550 colleges and universities nationwide.