Career-Driven Bachelor Degree Programs Gain Initial Accreditation at SUNY Canton
SUNY Canton’s most recent bachelor’s degree programs received initial accreditation by ABET, the premiere engineering and engineering technology accrediting body.
Civil and Environmental Technology, Electrical Technology and Mechanical Technology all underwent a full site review by ABET accreditors last fall. The accreditation is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2012.
“Accreditation really helps establish the quality and value of these programs,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “It is further evidence that our programs have met the standards necessary to produce well-qualified graduates who are prepared to enter their chosen careers.”
All three programs began in 2010 and boast a 100 percent placement rate for graduates. Most new hires within these fields are earning salaries of more than $50,000 annually.
“The four-year educational tracks were developed to build upon SUNY Canton’s strong, ABET accredited, associate degree programs,” said Michael J. Newtown, interim dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “Students have advanced career mobility through our four-year programs.”
Civil and Environmental Technology
The four-year program builds upon the existing two-year Civil Engineering Technology program with more advanced structural design courses, practical industry skills and technology, and add an entirely new environmental component to the program according to Program Director and Associate Professor Adrienne C. Rygel, Ph.D. “Students build upon their classes in the natural sciences to tackle real-life problems,” she said. “They study water and soil pollution and determine responses to remediate contamination.”
Some students are studying the environmental impact of mining in Pyrates. They take field samples to test the water quality and then draft an environmental site impact statement. Other students are surveying a site and creating a plan for residential development in the area, including the design for the homes.
The career outlook in the area of civil engineering technology is expected to remain constant through 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The career outlook for environmental technology and related careers is projected to grow approximately 18 percent, or faster than the average for all occupations, according to the BLS.
One of the benefits of ABET accreditation in the Electrical Engineering Technology program is students will be able to take the Fundamentals of Engineers examination toward their professional engineer license immediately after graduation, according to Program Director and Professor Stephen E. Frempong, Ph.D. “The program provides the opportunity for students to minor in mathematics, which helps when applying to graduate school or preparing to become a design engineer,” he said.
Students in the program are currently working on a radio frequency identification system that could be applied to a classroom setting as an attendance system, and a power generation method where waste heat is converted into usable electricity.
Electrical and electronics engineering technologists work closely with electrical engineers. They work primarily in manufacturing settings, research and development laboratories, and the utilities industry, according the BLS. The median annual wage for these positions is almost $58,000.
Assistant Professor and Department Chairperson Director Daniel J. Miller noted that companies including Boeing, Corning Inc., Schneider Packaging and others have hired graduates from the four-year Mechanical Technology program. “Several students are continuing their education in doctorate programs studying biomedical engineering research fields,” he said. “Our program is unique in that students have several pathways to direct their career.”
Notably, students can study mechanical design, manufacturing robotics and building environmental controls. The program recently incorporated three-dimensional printers. Students have built several of these devices and have used the technology to print their own projects. Currently, students in the Engineering Club are designing a Baja off-road vehicle.
Mechanical engineering technologists assist with manufacturing processes or with development phases in research and development labs. Careers in the field are expected to grow through 2022, according to the BLS. There will be opportunities for students who can master new software and technology. The median annual wage for graduates is greater than $51,000.
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that the education provided by SUNY Canton meets high levels of quality. Members of the faculty, staff, and administration use the accreditation as a means to measure the effectiveness of programs and evaluate the quality of each major. The college first received ABET accreditation in 1950. Many of the two-year programs within the SUNY Canton Canino School of Engineering Technology were reaccredited by ABET in 2009.
About SUNY Canton
SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as eight exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.