Engineering program earns reaccreditation

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Story by Michaelyn Modglin, Contributing writer

Murray State’s Engineering Physics Program earned full re-accreditation for the 2016-17 academic year.

“This accreditation is a significant point of pride and affirms that our program meets the quality standards that produce graduates who are prepared to not only enter, but also succeed in the global workforce,” Steve Cobb, dean of the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, said in a press release.

The program sets itself apart by being among the less than 25 engineering physics programs in the nation to receive accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

“It is a standard that is highly desirable to employers and future students,” said Ted Thiede, an associate professor of the  engineering program.

Danny Claiborne, department chairman for the Engineering Institute, says the degree program tends to assessments, producing yearly documents proving that the strict guidelines are being abided by.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the program securing the accreditation.

The entire faculty and student body is involved in ensuring progress,” Thiede said. “A self-study report is presented to ABET evaluators who subsequently visit the campus in the fall to validate the program’s performance.”

The four-year degree offers tracks of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and advanced physics.   

“To become a licensed engineer in the state of Kentucky, students must graduate from an EAC/ABET accredited program, period,” Claiborne said.

The accreditation process recognizes Murray State’s engineering physics program for its ability to respond to the ever-changing global engineering environment and its faculty’s ability to effectively teach content, as well as their availability to students.

“The strength of this program is our faculty,” Claiborne said. “You can have all the administration you want, and you can even have all the good students you want, but the faculty is what makes the accredited program strong.”

A new building is now under construction on Murray State’s Gene W. Ray Campus as a result of the growing program.

The modern building will accommodate students with state-of-the-art classrooms, instructional spaces, high bay areas for engineering projects and student design labs.

The 85,000-square-foot facility’s expected completion is set for Spring 2017.