SPIE has lead role in University accreditation for optics and photonics

Oct. 5, 2010
Bellingham, WA--SPIE begins its first accreditation cycle as a member of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

Bellingham, WA--SPIE now has a lead role in establishing criteria for college and university degree-granting programs in optics and photonics, as the Society begins its first accreditation cycle as a member of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

ABET, a federation of 30 professional and technical societies, acts as the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology in the U.S.

Following ratification as a member society earlier this year, SPIE was designated the lead society for optics and photonics criteria related to curriculum and faculty for the ABET Applied Science Accreditation Commission, and will be co-lead with IEEE, for similar programs in the Engineering and Technology accreditation commissions.

Nominations of Barry Shoop (U.S. Military Academy) to fill the SPIE seat on the ABET Board of Directors and of Wei Chen (Univ. of Central Oklahoma) as alternate were approved by the SPIE Board of Directors at its meeting in San Diego last month.

Next, SPIE will work with deans and department heads of leading optics and photonics programs to develop criteria and faculty descriptions appropriate to the discipline. Once written, these will go to the commission and ABET's Board for approval. When approved they will be posted one year for public comment and subsequently become the accepted criteria for optics and photonics programs accredited by ABET.

"SPIE has already demonstrated its dedication to educating the next generation of optics and photonics professionals through its support of scholarships, grants, and other educational programs around the world," said ABET President David Holger. "Being an ABET Member Society will further this commitment and provide SPIE with a proven means to ensure the quality of as many as 300 degree-granting programs in optics and photonics worldwide."

SOURCE: SPIE; http://spie.org/x42222.xml

Posted by:Gail Overton

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