STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University’s bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering has earned accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org), acknowledging that the program meets essential, discipline-defined standards for preparing its students to enter the global workforce.


"ABET is the most widely recognized accreditation for engineering education in the U.S. and internationally," said Dr. Mircea Agapie, head of Tarleton’s Engineering and Computer Science Department. "It proves what we already knew, that our mechanical engineering majors receive instruction, advising and mentoring that are up to the highest world standards.


"Many industries and government organizations will not hire engineering graduates unless they come from an ABET-accredited program. The faculty and staff in the program put in many extra hours preparing for this, and they are to be commended for their efforts."


Tarleton’s mechanical engineering program, which grew out of the engineering physics curriculum, began in fall 2017 and awarded its first degrees in spring 2018. The accreditation is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2017, meaning all of the university’s mechanical engineering graduates have now come from an ABET-accredited program.


ABET is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It accredits college and university programs in engineering, engineering technology, computing, and applied and natural science. It currently accredits more than 4,000 programs at over 800 colleges and universities in 32 countries.


The ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. ABET accreditation reviews examine the program curricula, faculty, facilities and institutional support; they are conducted by teams of professionals from industry, academia and government.


"I’m very proud of what that program has accomplished in such a short time," said Dr. Denise Martinez, associate dean of Tarleton’s School of Engineering.


Tarleton now has four engineering programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET: mechanical, electrical, environmental and civil. More than 170 students are enrolled in mechanical engineering, with more than 350 in all four programs.


"Congratulations to the entire team who spent years getting to this point," said Dr. Michael Huggins, dean of the College of Science and Technology.


For more information about Tarleton’s engineering programs, visit the Department of Engineering and Computer Science at www.tarleton.edu/encs/.


More information about ABET, its member societies and the accreditation criteria can be found at www.abet.org.