August 22, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 18

Eastern's engineering program gets certified

Eastern Washington University’s Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering program has been accredited by ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). This is EWU’s second engineering program that has been accredited, with electrical engineering being the first.

EWU has offered engineering programs since 2005 and engineering technology degrees since 1991. In 2009, the university received legislative permission to grant mechanical engineering degrees and the university graduated its first group of mechanical engineers in 2012.

This additional authority to offer ME degrees enables EWU to play an integral role in developing the workforce for the future of the state of Washington. The state depends on STEM-related fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to support major economic sectors from aerospace to computing.

“Eastern has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to the state’s economy by creating ‘job ready’ engineers for the state,” Judd Case, dean of the College of Science, Health and Engineering, said in a news release. “Our programs in engineering, engineering technology and computer science are ABET-accredited and graduate well-prepared students to enter the technology work force.”

There are nearly 950 students at EWU studying either engineering or technology and computer science, and those numbers are expected to grow in the coming years. Additionally, for the past four years, Eastern has offered its electrical engineering program in the North Seattle area in order to serve more place-bound students and still increase the number of new engineers.

“EWU engineering students are successful in the workforce,” Case added. “We find many EWU alumni working in businesses throughout eastern Washington because the program offers students an applied “hands-on” approach. As a result, EWU engineering students spend considerable time in laboratories putting theory to practice - experience that is immediately beneficial to employers.”

Case also notes that internships in technology and engineering companies are part of the EWU curriculum. The combination of increased lab time and internship time means a more “job ready” student entering the work force upon graduation.

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