Author Topic: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?  (Read 6663 times)

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Offline zeppelin390

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I am beginning classes soon, and am concerned that my degree will not be worth as much if not accredited by the ABET.
The School I'm going to is accredited by CHEA, but not sure if that carries any weight for the class itself.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 10:29:37 pm »
My understanding is that a lack of ABET accreditation would be a big concern. An ABET accredited degree is for example a common and standard requirement for eventual PE (Professional Engineer) recognition. If your prospective program is not accredited, you would have to ask why not?
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline slateraptor

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 06:34:42 pm »
In general, a non-ABET accredited engineering program isn't worth the paper it's printed on. At a minimum, you can pretty much forget about ever attaining a professional license or working for federal civil service.
 

Offline Tony R

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 10:05:50 pm »
If you don't want a job after graduation then it is not important at all... but for those who do, it is kind of a big deal...
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Offline Mint.

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 10:43:42 pm »
Whats ABET?
Your degree is only a piece of paper. It doesn't prove anything. Who cares if it is accredited or not. It's how good of an engineer you are. Or so they say...
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Offline zeppelin390

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 11:53:26 pm »
My understanding is that a lack of ABET accreditation would be a big concern. An ABET accredited degree is for example a common and standard requirement for eventual PE (Professional Engineer) recognition. If your prospective program is not accredited, you would have to ask why not?

If you don't want a job after graduation then it is not important at all... but for those who do, it is kind of a big deal...

Defiantly not what I want to hear, but then I have to ask myself this, why even offer the class at all? The school has to be aware of the value of an ABET accreditation because their Civil and Architectural Engineering classes have the accreditation from them. If enough people were not getting placed in jobs after the EE class, would that not start raise some eye-brows and possibly force the school to end the program for fear of bad publicity?
I have an email into the chair of the program asking him pretty much the same question. Looking forward to seeing what he has to say.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2012, 12:43:24 am »
If they have ABET for Civil, but not EE, that raises a red flag in my mind... Wonder what's up?
 

Offline slateraptor

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012, 04:13:57 am »
Whats ABET?
Your degree is only a piece of paper. It doesn't prove anything. Who cares if it is accredited or not. It's how good of an engineer you are. Or so they say...

It's an independent US accrediting body responsible for establishing and periodically verifying minimum academic standards of rigor for engineering education. A degree isn't intended to prove anything of the competencies of an engineer. An engineering degree from an ABET-accredited university demonstrates that a student--within reasonable doubt--has successfully earned a "ticket to play" by successfully completing minimum course and lab work defined by recognized academic and industry professionals. Why is this important? Because there are way too many piece of shit people who "fake it 'til they make it" so to speak...these cheats opt for the path of least resistance with the hope of basking in the unearned vanities of ambition; do some research on degree mills and bullshit for-profit "universities" to get an idea where I'm coming from.

Which reminds me of a piece of shit "engineer" that I interviewed with a few months ago who was, to my surprise, ecstatic when I used a bit of trivial calculus and the Laplace transform to show why his test questions were a bullshit trick. Then he proceeded to insist that QAM was a strictly digital application and couldn't reasonably explain the how the color burst of a NTSC signal is used to extract chroma information. Turns out that this 30-year industry veteran had only completed an associates degree, from a non-accredited college to boot. Needless to say, I don't work for him.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2012, 08:08:42 am »
I don't recall ever being asked whether my college had the ABET accreditation, nor seeing that requirement on a job posting, nor asking any of the people I helped to hire.  OTOH, it was (and a "well known and well respected" school at that), maybe HR screens those, and ... that wasn't my job.

There may be some non-accredited schools that are famous for being "degree mills" and aren't taken seriously by hiring departments.  And the "professional engineer" path may have real requirements that I never had to deal with.  Likewise, there could be non-accredited schools that have GOOD reputations for covering material that's not part of the normal paths (there is certainly plenty of complaint about the ill-preparedness of recent graduates for any "real" work...)
 

Offline slateraptor

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 05:57:49 pm »
I don't recall ever being asked whether my college had the ABET accreditation, nor seeing that requirement on a job posting, nor asking any of the people I helped to hire.  OTOH, it was (and a "well known and well respected" school at that), maybe HR screens those, and ... that wasn't my job.


If you've never seen "degree from an ABET-accredited program" in the requirements of a job before, all you simply need to do is go to USAJOBS.gov and do an advanced search for occupational series 0850 (Electrical Engineer), 0854 (Computer Engineer), 0855 (Electronics Engineer), 0861 (Aerospace Engineer), 0830 (Mechanical Engineer), etc. It's not an interview question that's typically asked; HR usually eliminates those candidates. Also, the big industry players won't be found recruiting professional engineers at non-accredited universities.


Likewise, there could be non-accredited schools that have GOOD reputations for covering material that's not part of the normal paths (there is certainly plenty of complaint about the ill-preparedness of recent graduates for any "real" work...)

Name one non-ABET professional engineering program in the US with a good reputation. The problem with the programs you've mentioned is if they do in fact cover atypical material, 9 times out of 10 it's way too application specific (in a world where technology is constantly changing), and they'll likely fail to cover fundamentals in depth. This pedagogical paradigm is characteristic of technical/trade schools, not professional engineering programs.

One major factor that distinguishes an ABET-accredited program is lab requirements. In fact, this criteria was so important that the courses which had required labs made it their prerogative to highlight the ridiculous amount of time that students would have to spend outside of lecture preparing for the 3 hrs/week lab sessions; my experience was 10-12 hrs preparation for the simpler labs. Non-accredited schools have slim to none as a consequence of either budgetary constraints or pure online coursework. So the question becomes, "If graduates of ABET-accredited programs are deemed ill-prepared for 'real' work, then what does that say about graduates of non-accredited programs?" There's quite a bit of separation amongst ABET-accredited programs in the "above and beyond minimum requirements" category as it is without bothering to compare programs that fail to overcome the lowest bar.

Another is academic rigor. You hear it all the time on this forum: I want to be an engineer but suck at math and don't want to learn calculus. Well, ABET standards do a fairly decent job of playing gate keeper, allowing only those with talent and/or willingness to work their ass off to pass muster. If the students just wants a glorified piece of paper, there are plenty of proclaimed "institutes of higher learning" that will gladly take your money to grant this desire. But if the student wants a real engineering education with industry value in the US, then an ABET-accredited program is really the only way to go.
 

Offline Poe

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 02:39:43 am »
Just some personal experience...  Better a degree from an ABET school (plenty out there), but make sure it's a school with a good reputation.  Although DeVry is ABET accredited, I had a hard time convincing employers.  Most thought it was some 'night-class' or vocational school. 

Additionally have someone in the field check out the school's curriculum.  Some 'colleges' like DeVry profit heavily on burn-outs.  They accept EVERYONE, dumb down the first two years, then SURPRISE!... the learning curve just went vertical!  This morally reprehensible practice ensures high profits and a good graduate reputation since they all had to be dedicated enough to teach themselves outside of school.

In my last trimester of our second year the coursework went from NAND gates and biasing transistors (completely skipped FETs) to bode plots, fourier transforms and DSP.  Our class size went from 75 to 12. 






 

Offline EEMarc

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 04:55:11 am »
If it is not an ABET accredited program, don't walk, run away. Even if it is ABET accredited, make sure they aren't on the rocks, you don't want to waste your money on a substandard program.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: How important is it that an EE class be accredited by the ABET?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2012, 08:07:59 am »
I am beginning classes soon, and am concerned that my degree will not be worth as much if not accredited by the ABET.
The School I'm going to is accredited by CHEA, but not sure if that carries any weight for the class itself.

Did no one here spot the inconsistency? CHEA, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, does not accredit schools. CHEA accredits accreditors. You can say they work on the meta level. Accreditors, like ABET or ATMAE, accredit schools.

His school can't be accredited by CHEA. His school's accreditor might be recognized by CHEA. AFAIK accreditors recognized by CHEA for engineering accrediation are the just mentioned ABET and ATMAE.
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