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Civil engineering partnership receives important ABET accreditation

The University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado Mesa University’s partnership degree program in civil engineering has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.  
ABET accreditation assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, as well as anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.

“We’re proud to receive this important certification from ABET for our civil engineering degree,” said Nathan McNeill, director of CMU-CU Boulder Engineering Partnership Program. “This allows our graduates to have a shorter path to licensure, which is critical in the civil engineering profession.”

The civil engineering partnership program launched in 2016 and graduated its first cohort in 2020. The partnership between CU Boulder and CMU is a unique opportunity for students to earn a CU Boulder engineering degree while studying at CMU in Grand Junction, Colorado. The program offers mechanical, civil, or electrical and computer engineering degrees with the same curriculum as their CU Boulder counterparts.

“Our engineering faculty at CMU and CU contributed a significant amount of time to ensure that our program meets the rigorous ABET standards and adequately prepares graduates to become professional engineers,” said Keith Molenaar, acting dean of CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. “Receiving ABET accreditation is an important milestone for the partnership program and for students across Colorado who want to pursue a career in engineering.”

Professors in the civil engineering partnership program have specializations in construction, hydrology, and water and wastewater treatment. These specializations are of particular importance on the Western Slope of Colorado. 

“The community of Grand Junction has been enthusiastic about this program,” said McNeill. “Local engineering firms have provided internships for the majority of civil engineering partnership students. Alumni are employed here in Grand Junction and throughout the West, Southwest and Midwest.” 

Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s 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 professionals from industry, academia and government, with expertise in the ABET disciplines. An internationally respected organization with some 2,200 volunteers, ABET has set the higher-educational standards in its fields for more than 80 years.  


Written by Julie Chiron