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How important is where I get my B.S?

  1. Jun 18, 2011 #1
    I've got one more semester left finishing up the periphery work before I transfer to a school with an EE degree to begin the core work of a program. I'm right at Georgia Tech's doorstep (although I wouldn't be able to live at home with the parents), but I don't know if paying for GT is a feasible option for me. There is another school in Atlanta called Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) that has an engineering program that is just starting up. So far, they don't have a graduating class so they are not accredited. This is a cause of concern, and I'm also a bit concerned that the education will not be rigorous enough to really allow me to stand out.

    I do hope to go on to GT for graduate-level work, but I'm wondering if I stand out at SPSU if it's likely that I'll have a good opportunity to get into an M.S. program at GT with perhaps help on tuition from a co-op/research grant.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2011 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    I think you're right to be concerned about accreditation.
  4. Jun 18, 2011 #3
    Sorry, what? Southern Polytechnic State University's electrical engineering program is ABET-accredited.
  5. Jun 18, 2011 #4
    Georgia Tech has a great Co-op program. Essentially, you go to school one semester, co-op the next, then go to school again, then co-op... this cycle repeats until you opt out of the program or graduate. It does take you longer to graduate, but the experience and money you gain from it is fairly valuable.

    Take a look here.

    Even if both schools are accredited, the Georgia Tech name surely carries more value.

    Edit: I'm guessing you aren't eligible for HOPE? Also, I'm currently a Georgia Tech undergraduate student, so I may be able to answer your Georgia Tech related questions.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  6. Jun 18, 2011 #5
    If it's not SACS accredited, that's a deal-breaker. Don't go to a US school that is not regionally accredited, but SPSU appears to be SACS accredited.

    If it's SACS accredited but not ABET, then that's a different issue. My experience is that ABET accreditation is not critical for EE programs, but other people might have other opinions.

    The most important thing is that you end up somewhere that you can finish your bachelors. One thing that I think most undergraduates worry too much about how the degree will impact graduate work and not enough about whether they can get through the undergrad. One thing that you should do is to go to both campuses, take some classes, talk to the upperclassmen. One particular thing to pay attention to (and you can get information from upperclassmen about this) is whether there are weed-out classes.
  7. Jun 18, 2011 #6
    I'm from the area around SPSU and actually go to a school outside of Georgia.

    SPSU is SACS accredited as a master's level degree...

    http://sacscoc.org/details.asp?instid=66320 [Broken]

    I'm sorry to see it's not ABET accredited though, but neither is MIT or UC Berkeley!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Jun 18, 2011 #7
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Yes, Farmergregor, I am unfortunately ineligible for HOPE. I graduated from H.S. in 2001 and really tanked my GPA for 2 years. I started taking classes again in January 2010, and am climbing out of the hole that I've dug for myself.

    While going to GT and doing a co-op would be nice, my overall GPA is pretty low, and I also have a criminal record from 2006. Coupled with the fact that I'm 28, I don't want to continue to draw the degree out, even if I was eligible.

    I'm finishing up the RETP at Gainesville State, so I'm hoping that I won't have too much trouble with my transfer.

    Twofish - I feel confident that I'm capable of the work load. When I put my mind to school work, I'm adept. My physics foundation is quite strong too. But at the same time, I know I've got to just put one foot in front of the other.

    Angrycitizen - unless SPSU just needs to update their website (which I hope isn't the case), this is from their EE FAQ
    It also says that a school must be ABET accredited to gain your PE license.
  9. Jun 18, 2011 #8
    I'm very sorry, but you're right. I had never searched for programs on the ABET site prior to my previous post, and I was not searching for the programs properly. It is not ABET accredited. I would highly recommend doing a program that is ABET accredited.

    Again, my apologies for giving you the wrong guidance on this issue.
  10. Jun 18, 2011 #9
    I know an engineer working at IBM who graduated from SPSU, so it is definitely possible to go there and get good jobs. Georgia Tech on the other hand has great connections to industry and a great co-op program that you could possibly use to pay for GT. With your GPA however, you might not be able to get an internship easily so I'd say stick with SPSU.
  11. Jun 19, 2011 #10

    Oh, no trouble at all! I'm definitely going to shoot for GT, but otherwise I might just have to hope for the best with SPSU.

    This is encouraging, at the very least.

    Would ABET accreditation affect my school prospects and job prospects, or just job prospects? In other words, if I could manage to make GT work for my Master's, that would turn out okay wouldn't it?
  12. Jun 20, 2011 #11
    My experience (which might be very different from other people's) is that in software engineering and electrical engineering no one cares about ABET accreditation or professional engineering licensing when it comes to employment. There have been efforts to institute PE licensing in those areas, but there are enough people working in EECS without licensing, that people scream every time that happens.
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