Skip to main content

WCU Stories

Bachelor of science degree in engineering gains prestigious ABET accreditation

WCU's bachelor of science in engineering program is hands-on, with students well prepared when they enter the workforce.

Western Carolina University’s bachelor of science degree in engineering has gained accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the accreditor of programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

Sought worldwide, ABET’s voluntary peer-review process is highly respected because it adds critical value to academic programs in the technical disciplines where quality, precision and safety are of the utmost importance, said Jeffrey Ray, dean of WCU’s College of Engineering and Technology.

“Receiving our first ABET accreditation of our newest degree program, the bachelor of science in engineering, is a major step in the growth of our college,” Ray said. “I am extremely proud of the students and faculty who were instrumental in achieving this significant milestone that guarantees we are providing the highest quality graduates for advanced manufacturing and product design and development to support economic development in the state and Western North Carolina in particular.”

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors authorized WCU to offer the bachelor of science degree in engineering in February 2012, with the program beginning in the fall semester of 2013.

“Earning accreditation from ABET for Western Carolina University’s undergraduate engineering degree program with concentrations in mechanical, electric power and manufacturing is an important milestone, one that provides further evidence of WCU’s commitment to our students, to the Western North Carolina region and to the state,” said WCU Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar. “This is the latest example of the university’s long-standing tradition of focusing on high-impact academic programs that change lives and improve the economy of the mountain region this institution was founded to serve.”

Developed by technical professionals from member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. ABET accreditation reviews look at program curricula, faculty, facilities and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia and government with expertise in the ABET disciplines.

“News of receiving this important accreditation sends a clear signal to our external business and industry partners that our engineering programs meet the rigorous standards of ABET and that students in WCU’s College of Engineering and Technology receive the highest quality educational experiences,” said WCU Acting Provost Carol Burton. “It indicates that our engineering graduates are well-equipped with the knowledge and the technical skills, which they have gained through our project-based learning approach, and that they are ready to succeed in the profession.”

ABET is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It currently accredits almost 3,800 programs at nearly 750 colleges and universities in 31 countries. More information can be found at

For more information on the bachelor of science degree program, contact the College of Engineering and Technology at 828-227-7368 or

Office of Web Services