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ABET accreditation reaffirms UTSA’s excellence in engineering education

ABET accreditation reaffirms UTSA’s excellence in engineering education

OCTOBER 6, 2023 — UTSA announced today that its undergraduate engineering programs in biomedical, civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering have been re-accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) through 2029. The programs, offered by the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design (Klesse College), serve more than 4,200 students.

ABET is the global accreditor of higher education programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. ABET accreditation assures that programs meet high standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, with the welfare and safety needs of the public in mind.

“Accreditation through ABET is a reflection of the high-quality educational programs in our college,” said Eric Brey, interim dean of the Klesse College. “Our faculty and staff are truly dedicated to providing the best educational opportunities for our students. This elite accreditation is another example of our commitment to the continued success of our students and alumni.”

“This elite accreditation is another example of our commitment to the continued success of our students and alumni.”

ABET has also accredited, for the first time, UTSA’s new bachelor’s program in chemical engineering. The B.S. in chemical engineering was established in Fall 2017 and designed with a rigorous curriculum and a low faculty-to-student ratio that enables close interactions between students and professors. Additionally, the program provides experiential learning opportunities to make students more competitive job candidates upon graduation and to position them for success in the workforce. Alumni are pursuing graduate degrees at elite chemical engineering programs in the nation.

“Having an ABET-accredited program will provide us with another springboard to grow connections with the chemical industries, especially in Texas,” said Nehal Abu-Lail, interim chair of the UTSA Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering. “This accreditation will also enable us to attract the most competitive students to our program. It is a testimonial to the high-quality education we are providing to our students.”

Brey added that ABET accreditation for young degree programs is a significant milestone. The B.S. in chemical engineering was retroactively accredited to 2020, ensuring that all of UTSA’s undergraduate chemical engineering students, including the inaugural graduating class, is able to hold up a degree from an ABET accredited program.

“The reviewers were particularly impressed by our facilities, specifically the Margie and Bill Klesse Unit Operations Teaching Laboratory, which offers students outstanding opportunities for hands-on application of classroom theory,” he added.

UTSA chemical engineering major Yağmur Hocaoğlu said, “I am beyond happy and proud of UTSA for achieving the ABET accreditation in the chemical engineering program. As a current junior chemical engineering student, my time here has provided me with many opportunities, such as being an undergraduate research assistant, Klesse Student Ambassador, and overall, just giving me the opportunity to academically and professionally develop as a female engineer.”

Hocaoğlu added, “I originally began studying chemical engineering due to my deep interest in math and chemistry, and I seek to utilize this degree to help combat environmental issues. Thanks to UTSA, I am able to have this opportunity and to truly help my community.”

Learn more about the significance of ABET accreditation.

In 2017, the Klesse Foundation made a $1 million gift to UTSA to support the chemical engineering program. Through their foundation, the Klesses established the Klesse Unit Operations Laboratory so that a new chemical engineering program could be established. This gift enabled the university to acquire state-of-the-art equipment including a two-story distillation column that attracted national attention and to create the Margie and Bill Klesse Endowed Scholarship in Chemical Engineering, which benefits 10 top-performing students every year.

The first cohort of 16 students graduated from UTSA with a B.S. in chemical engineering in May 2021 and 158 (as of Fall 2022) are currently enrolled in the program. The Klesses provided an additional gift of $500,000 to support a doctoral degree program in chemical engineering at UTSA that was launched this year.

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

— Katrina Kehoe

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

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