Engineering Program Renews ABET Accreditation

Sweet Briar College engineering students use a computer guided mill
Sweet Briar College engineering students use a computer guided mill
Sweet Briar College’s engineering program utilizes project-based, hands-on curriculum to teach concepts and foster confidence.

Posted on September 25, 2023

Sweet Briar College’s bachelor’s degree program in engineering science has been reaccredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. The College’s Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Program was created in 2004 and has been accredited continually by ABET since 2009.

ABET accreditation assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.

“This seal of approval is fabulous news that further bolsters the reputation of and regard for Sweet Briar College’s nationally recognized engineering program for women,” says Interim President Mary Pope Hutson.

Dean of the College Teresa Garrett says, “Sweet Briar is proud to be making a substantive contribution to meeting the need for more engineers, especially women engineers. Sweet Briar is one of only two women’s colleges with ABET accreditation, giving students a leg up in the workforce and graduate school. In many states, graduation from an ABET-accredited program is required for engineers to receive licenses and enter the profession. Graduate schools, likewise, look for students from programs like ours.”

“Our students often work with industrial sponsors on real-world projects, ranging from nuclear power to recycling packaging,” adds Jon Bender, director of the Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Program. “Many of our graduates go straight into the workforce, including jobs at NASA, Whirlpool, Dominion Energy, and the U.S. Navy. Others have pursued graduate degrees at the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, and Dartmouth College, among others.”

Sought worldwide, ABET’s voluntary peer-review process is highly respected because it adds critical value to academic programs in the technical disciplines, where quality, precision and safety are of the utmost importance.

Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. ABET accreditation reviews look at program curricula, faculty, facilities, and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia and government, with expertise in the ABET disciplines.

ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that currently accredits 4,564 programs at 895 colleges and universities in 40 countries and areas.