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Civil Engineering Program Earns ABET Accreditation

September 02, 2020

Angelo State University’s Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.) degree program has earned accreditation by the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission, retroactive to October 2018.

(L to R) Dr. William Kitch, David Hirschfeld, Judith Hirschfeld, President Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. Do... (L to R) Dr. William Kitch, David Hirschfeld, Judith Hirschfeld, President Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. Don Topliff According to the ABET website, “ABET accreditation assures confidence that a collegiate program has met standards essential to prepare graduates to enter critical STEM fields in the global workforce. Graduates from an ABET-accredited program have a solid educational foundation and are capable of leading the way in innovation, emerging technologies, and in anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.”

Dr. Don Topliff Dr. Don Topliff “The accreditation or our civil engineering program is the most important milestone in the department to date,” said Dr. Don Topliff, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Without ABET accreditation, our engineering graduates would not be able to achieve the Professional Engineer credentials necessary for employment in an engineering firm. This accreditation, which by the way, came with absolutely no deficiencies, is a testament to the exceptional quality of the faculty and the training they are giving their students. I could not be prouder of the David L. Hirschfield Department of Engineering.”

Additional benefits for students in an ABET-accredited program include:

Dr. William Kitch Dr. William Kitch “This is an auspicious day for Angelo State University,” said Dr. William Kitch, chair of the David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering. “With this announcement, all 34 of our civil engineering alumni back to the ‘Fundamental Five,’ who graduated in December 2018, now hold accredited engineering degrees. This is the culmination of five years of dedicated work by the staff, faculty and students of our department. I could not be prouder to be serving ASU and our students with such a dedicated group of professionals.”

Formation of the B.S.C.E. degree program began in 2014 when ASU received a $2.87 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for initial funding. The first civil engineering students enrolled in the fall of 2015, and the department was named in honor of local businessman David L. Hirschfeld following a $1 million endowed gift in 2016. ASU received a $4.5 million anonymous gift to fund construction of the Hunter Strain Engineering Labs that opened in 2017, and other substantial anonymous gifts were used to purchase lab equipment and fund the program’s first endowed scholarships. There are currently 89 students pursuing their ASU civil engineering degree.

“I’d like to thank the leadership of ASU, industry leaders in San Angelo, and the generous benefactors and donors to the engineering programs in the David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering,” Kitch said. “Engineering is a team sport, and we couldn’t have gotten here without all of them. The next step is accrediting our new mechanical engineering program. Ramgineers lead the way!”

ASU’s Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.) degree program was approved in October 2018 and was initially funded by a $2.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions program. The first mechanical engineering students enrolled in the fall of 2019, and there are currently 111 students in the program.