The Herald Bulletin

Midday Update

Local Business

March 11, 2013

AU receives accreditation for engineering

ANDERSON, Ind. — Anderson University will be moving forward with the program President James Edwards not long ago said was “the most aggressive and promising academic addition” the university has made in his time there: engineering.

The university recently received approval through the Higher Learning Commission and is seeking students for the 2013 fall semester.

AU is one of only a few schools in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities nationwide to offer an engineering program, said Chris Williams, director of communications and community relations.

“I’m excited. One of the myths about liberal arts colleges is that they don’t innovate and that’s not true,” Provost Marie Morris said. “We are.”

She added that there was a great need for the program in the area and that AU is excited to get the community involved. As the program develops and expands, the university will be reviewing partnership opportunities.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a vastly growing field in the U.S., oftentimes with higher pay, and Edwards said engineering was the third highest interest area in potential students.

While the university will be continuously evaluating the program, Williams said, there’s an excitement about the possibilities. For now, however, AU will be focusing on mechanical and electrical engineering — each area gaining a new faculty member this fall that specializes in the field, Morris said.

Those professors will develop upper-level curriculum while existing faculty will provide lessons for foundational courses.

AU’s engineering program will have the same admission requirements as other majors the school currently offers, Morris said, with the possibility of increasing those standards in the future.

There is no projection for how many students the program will receive yet, but Williams said AU has received a great deal of interest from students from a lot of places.

Williams said AU is “excited to get the ball rolling” and will be seeking accreditation through the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology in the future. Morris added that typically comes after an institution has graduated a class.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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