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OSU computer science program earns ABET accreditation

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 | egosney@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University’s computer science program received accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) on Aug. 31. The accreditation applies retroactively from October 2020 onward and includes OSU’s Stillwater, Tulsa and online CS programs.

The discussion of accreditation began in 2013 under former College of Arts and Sciences dean Dr. Bret Danilowicz. The decision to actually seek it, however, didn’t happen until 2016, when computer science professor Dr. K.M. George got the ball rolling. 

“Danilowicz provided the support needed to undertake the activities and develop the required self-study report,” George said. “So, I made it a priority for the department. We first submitted in 2016 for review during the 2017-2018 cycle. We were informed that we were not ready, primarily because a student outcome assessment and continuous improvement process were not in place. I spent the next couple of years addressing this deficiency and submitted a request for readiness review in summer 2020 for the 2021-22 review cycle.”

The 18-month accreditation process was not an easy task, George said. With multiple steps to complete in order to even be reviewed, the computer science department faced many challenges.

“We had to get faculty cooperation, collect assessment data, implement an assessment and continuous improvement process and write a self-study report addressing all eight criteria required by ABET, ” George said. 

Dr. Blayne Mayfield, interim head of the Department of Computer Science, recognized that the CS program accreditation in three OSU locations — Stillwater, Tulsa and online — is a unique and valuable addition. Students graduating from the program are now more compelling hires for potential employers. 

“Let’s say you’re a student or a parent of a student getting ready to come to OSU or looking at computer science degrees all over the region,” Mayfield said. “One of the things you’re going to look at is if it’s an ABET accredited program, because this improves their employability. It improves their chances relative to other candidates. If I’m an employer and have two candidates with comparable resumes, one from a school that’s not ABET accredited and one that is, I could be more likely to hire the one from the ABET accredited school.”

To learn more about ABET accreditation, visit abet.org.

Story By: Bella Vu, CAS Student Intern | bella.vu@okstate.edu

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