What is Accreditation?
Accreditation ensures that academic and professional programs achieve and maintain a level of performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and public they serve.
In the United States this recognition is extended primarily through non-governmental, voluntary, institutional, or professional associations. These groups establish criteria for accreditation, arrange site visits, evaluate those institutions and professional programs seeking accreditation, and publicly designate those programs that meet the criteria.
Accreditation, which applies to institutions or programs, is distinguished from certification and licensure, which apply to individuals. Although accreditation is basically a private, voluntary process, accrediting decisions are used as a consideration in many formal actions by governmental funding agencies, scholarship commissions, foundations, employers, counselors, and potential students.
Accrediting bodies have, therefore, come to be viewed as quasi-public entities with important responsibilities to the many groups who interact with the educational community.
There are two types of accreditation:
Institutional accreditation is granted by regional and national accrediting commissions of schools and colleges, which collectively serve most of the institutions chartered or licensed in the United States. These commissions and associations accredit the institution as a whole.
Specialized accreditation of professional and occupational schools and programs is granted by commissions on accreditation established by national professional organizations.
Each of these groups has its own distinct definition of eligibility, criteria for accreditation, and operating procedures. However, all have undertaken accreditation activities primarily to ensure that the members of the profession or occupation have received the highest level of educational preparation possible.
Is the Applied Engineering Program Accredited?
The Applied Engineering, Applied Engineering and Technology Management, BS, Computer Engineering Technology BS, and Mechanical Engineering Technology, BS are all Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) accredited.
Senior Applied Engineering students in ATMAE accredited programs are given the opportunity to take the ATMAE CTM exam.
The Applied Engineering, Foundry Technology, BS is Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF).
WHAT IS THE Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)?
"ATMAE is an exciting, professional association with more than 1,000 innovative members who share technology, management and applied engineering ideas, research, and applications that positively impact the future. Since 1967 ATMAE members, who are college and university educators, administrators, students, and industry professionals, have been dedicated to solving complex technological problems and developing the competitive technologist and applied engineering workforce. We do this through specialized accreditation for 2 and 4-year degree programs, personal certifications, an annual national conference, publications, awards and scholarships, career center, a website filled with valuable content, and numerous opportunities to develop professionally." - www.atmae.org
"The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) is a specialized accreditor for technology, management and applied engineering degrees. The primary purpose of ATMAE accreditation is to encourage and recognize the attainment of certain professional goals and standards for technology and to encourage continuous quality improvement through a voluntary and comprehensive evaluation process." - www.atmae.org/accreditation
Is the Aerospace Engineering Program Accredited?
As one of the newest programs, Aerospace Engineering will seek accreditation upon meeting the minimum requirements for length of operation.
Is the Aeronautics Program Accredited?
Yes, it is. Not only at the institutional level through Kent State University’s accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association, but also at the specialized level by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) . Each Aeronautics BS degree is accredited separately. At this time, all four Aeronautics BS degrees are accredited by AABI.
What is the Aviation Accreditation Board International?
The Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) is a nonprofit 501 © (3) organization that meets twice a year and sets standards for aviation programs taught in colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. AABI was designed by educators, industry and the FAA, and judges the quality of aviation education curriculum. Programs that meet AABI standards are accredited for a five-year period.
What are the Benefits of Being Accredited by AABI?
- Our program is able to participate directly in the improvement of America's aviation and aerospace education infrastructure
- Faculty, staff and students are able to network with representatives from every aspect of the aviation industry and develop important new contacts
- Faculty and staff are able to gain greater industry insight and develop an expertise in aviation career planning, which allows us to
- Offer students a clear path to their career goals
- Justify future resources for various programs
- Improve opportunities for scholarships and
- Build parental confidence
How do we assess whether or not we’re doing a good job?
- At the Aeronautics program level (serving all five areas of concentration), faculty and staff have defined a mission statement that ties in and reflects the mission statements not only of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering but also of the University itself. Each area of concentration also has an individual mission statement. In this way, Aeronautics faculty and staff can ensure that we’re all on the same page and driving towards a common goal.
- Each mission statement is supported by specific outcomes, and we measure the success of reaching those outcomes in specific ways (you can find the outcomes and their measurements on each concentration webpage).
In order to meet the outcomes set forth in each area of concentration, and therefore the overall program, students must successfully pass not only their respective capstone course, but also Aerospace Senior Seminar. Flight Technology students must also pass AERN 45653 Multi-Engine Pilot Flight.
- Across all areas of concentration, we strive to meet eleven general outcomes throughout the course of a student’s chosen academic program at Kent State University. They are:
- An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and applied sciences
- An ability to analyze and interpret data
- An ability to function on multi-disciplinary and diverse teams
- An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
- An ability to communicate effectively, including both written and oral communication skills
- A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning
- A knowledge of contemporary issues
- An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern technology necessary for professional practice
- An understanding of the national and international aviation environment
- An ability to apply pertinent knowledge in identifying and solving problems
- An ability to apply knowledge of business sustainability to aviation businesses.
One way in which we assess whether or not our programs meet the general outcomes is to ask the student’s themselves via graduate surveys. Based upon results of the survey (which allows for comments as well), we may make changes to the program. For example, the 2012-2013 surveys indicated a desire for better and more clearly defined internship opportunities. In the summer of 2013, the College was able to hire an internship coordinator. Not only has the number of internship opportunities tripled over the last few years but also, through her efforts, Kent State University created the first University-level internship course, which allows any student who accepts an internship to maintain full-time student status while away, at minimum cost to the student.
The results from the 2015, 2014 and 2013 senior exit surveys and the Alumni 2015 survey pertaining to general outcomes are shown here:
For example, as a result of the January 2015 Quality of Aeronautics Program Summary:
- The Aeronautics Program is developing its first short-term study abroad opportunity. This 3 credit hour course in International Aeronautics Operations is expected to run for the first time during the spring 2016 Intercessional Period and will include 1-2 weeks in Europe visiting place such as the Bretigny Euro Control Research Facility, the Reims Air Traffic Control Tower and Airport Tour and the European Business School located in Frankfurt, Germany. Subsequent yearly offerings hope to rotate the destination to the South American and Asian markets.
- In accordance with the University’s undergraduate research initiatives, the Aeronautics Department continues to encourage faculty to pair with and mentor undergraduate students for participation in the recently established Undergraduate Research Symposium. Additionally, it strives to notify students of prospective research opportunities with various faculty members.