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Programs Importance of ABET in Mechatronics BS

  1. Jan 3, 2018 #1

    Dan8420

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    Hey all, my first 'real' post here, though I've been reading this forum for almost two years now! Would love some advice on a Mechatronics program.

    I am curious if anyone has thoughts about ABET certification in a Mechatronics degree program? While I know it is highly recommended for EE and ME Degrees, it looks to me as though only six Mechatronics degree programs in the US are ABET certified, none of which are anywhere near me.

    A little backstory: I always had good grades in HS, but due to some circumstances right out, I ended up going directly into the job market. Three years later, I started my own landscaping company, and worked my way into the excavation field. I did this for about 7 years, but have decided I wanted to go back to school, originally for an EE BS. I am currently enrolled in a local community college full time, and have a 4.0 Cumulative GPA. I am getting ready to transfer in the Fall, but have grown to like a Mechatronics degree program offered at a local college. One caveat is that while their EE program is ABET certified, the Mechatronics program is not.

    Any thoughts are welcome, and I will be around to answer questions if anyone needs further information! Thanks again!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2018 #2
    I can't say I'm familiar with Mechatronics, but my first instinct is that you'll probably want to go for an ABET program.
     
  4. Jan 3, 2018 #3

    Dan8420

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    I think you're right on that, but wasn't sure how much of a factor it should be. I suppose I may end up staying with the EE program and just taking some additional classes that are listed from the Mechatronics one to augment some skills.
     
  5. Jan 4, 2018 #4

    CalcNerd

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    If you truly were to specialize in mechatronics, the ABET accreditation wouldn't be that valuable. Machine design and automation does not require a PE (Professional Engineer) to obtain employment (could change in the future). ABET accreditation seems to be the new bar for many states in their application for taking a PE exam. There are many good programs that do not have ABET accreditation. Often the same school may have some other their programs ABET accredited and other engineering programs from the same school are not. You may be looking at just such a school and if you feel you need the extra security of an ABET accredited degree, pursue a double major ie taking enough courses to graduate with an ME (w/ABET) and your Mechatronics degree (w/o ABET).
    .
    An ABET accredited degree is certainly much better to have if you want to obtain PE licensure in the future.
    .
    The actual reality of ABET accreditation is that the college offers a curriculum that is acceptable and maintains a standard acceptable to ABET. There are still many schools that have good and respectable programs that do not have ABET accreditation or if they do, they do not have accreditation for all of their technical programs.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2018 #5
    The age of the program is a factor as well. A school cannot apply for ABET accreditation until at least one class has graduated, meaning that all 4+ years have been offered and students have successfully completed them. I took a non-ABET degree in Engineering Science; I was in the first class to graduate. The program was later ABET accredited, and those who had already graduated are thus grandfathered-in.

    On the other side of the coin, if a program has been long in existence and is still not ABET accredited, you have to ask yourself why? Is it that the school just does not want to get ABET accreditation for that program, or has it tried and failed (this definitely does happen). It may be hard to learn the true answer to this concern, but be aware that it is a potential pitfall.
     
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