By FELLEY LAWSON | OBU News Bureau
The Bachelor of Science degree program in engineering at Ouachita Baptist University has been approved by the university’s institutional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission.
The engineering curriculum was approved by the faculty in Spring 2022. While several new engineering courses were available to students in the 2022-23 academic year, the official program launch is scheduled for Fall 2023. The 4-year residential program builds on the strength of Ouachita’s Bachelor of Science degree program in physics and is housed in the newly formed Department of Physics and Engineering in the J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences. Dr. Kevin Cornelius, professor of physics, chairs the department.
“Earning approval from the HLC marks a monumental milestone,” said Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president. “It reflects the foresight and faithfulness of faculty members in Ouachita’s School of Natural Sciences whose goal is to allow our students to complete an undergraduate engineering degree while enjoying all the other benefits of academic and campus life at Ouachita.”
The engineering degree program includes emphases in civil, general and mechanical engineering. It is designed to meet standards set by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology and will be submitted for approval for candidacy status from ABET.
“We’re excited about the first accrediting step being completed for our engineering program,” said Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the Patterson School and professor of biology. “I’m confident we can jump the remaining accreditation hurdles during the next couple of years and look forward to having full accreditation.”
With HLC accreditation, the next step is the process for program accreditation with ABET when Ouachita’s first engineering students graduate. Once granted, accreditation applies to all graduates who have completed the engineering curriculum within two years of ABET approval.
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