Local industry leaders congratulate NNU on ABET accreditation

Last Updated 27 December, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015, NNU celebrated the recent accreditation of its Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) program by the international Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Industry leaders including Mark Durcan, CEO of Micron; Jim Nottingham, VP and general manager of Hewlett Packard Imaging and Printing Group; and Andy Perkins, process and sim engineer at Nampa-based ON Semiconductor, came out to a ceremony on NNU’s campus to offer words of congratulation. Their remarks also highlighted the importance of growing local engineering and technology education to meet the needs for skilled workers in the Treasure Valley.

“It really is a wonderful thing for the Valley, the program you’ve put together here. We are really excited that NNU is going to be there as our partner to help produce those great engineers and great technologists to drive the company forward,” said Durcan.

Achieving ABET accreditation is the culmination of an intense five-year process of program building, growth, assessment and evaluation to meet ABET’s rigorous standards. “This ABET ‘stamp of approval’ ensures that the education offered in our NNU engineering program meets the international measure of high quality and that NNU’s graduates are well prepared to serve at the forefront of engineering both here in the Valley and around the globe,” said NNU engineering program director Dr. Stephen Parke.

Current senior in the NNU engineering program Heather Skovgard (Kuna, Idaho) has been active in agricultural research with drones and was also recently named Miss Rodeo Idaho 2016. She said, “As I enter the industry, I am confident my NNU education has prepared me. I am so thankful that Christ led me to NNU and this remarkable engineering program. I am excited to make history being one of the first female engineers to graduate from NNU as an ABET-accredited university.”

NNU has a 60-year history of providing quality engineering physics education, started in 1955 by Manhattan Project scientist Dr. Gilbert Ford. The department has over 300 alumni pioneering in science and engineering fields around the globe. The NNU Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) program has 85 students enrolled with six faculty and two staff. It already has 18 graduates whose degrees will be grandfathered into the newly accredited status. It is a multidisciplinary program focusing on broad engineering fundamentals and liberal arts, and includes a choice of upper-division concentrations in electrical, mechanical and engineering physics.

ABET is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is an internationally recognized accreditor of college and university programs, specializing in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. ABET allows secondary education programs to better reflect current and future industry needs by guiding the educational process through evaluations developed by ABET members.

Sophomore engineering major Esteban Cano (Nampa, Idaho) also offered a student perspective on the significance of ABET accreditation. “We, as students of engineering, have a unique opportunity to demonstrate a level of excellence as Christians, as engineers, and as Northwest Nazarene University students,” Cano commented.

Photo caption: NNU engineering senior Heather Skovgard shared a student perspective on the new accreditation status of NNU’s engineering program.