Importance of ABET accreditation

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by nhpdad, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. nhpdad

    nhpdad Member

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    DS is an engineering major in his plebe year at KP (just recognized Friday!). He would like the option of going to grad school for an advanced engineering degree.

    I understand that the Marine Engineering major at KP is not ABET accredited. That only the majors Marine Engineering Systems and Marine Engineering an Shipyard Management are ABET accredited.

    I also understand that you need a minimum GPA during plebe year to be eligible to major in MES and/or MESM (which DS does not think he has after 2 trimesters).

    1. Does anyone know why the Marine Engineering major is not ABET accredited?

    2. Can anyone comment on whether grad schools require applicants to have majored in an ABET accredited program?

    3. Does anyone know what the minimum GPA is to be eligible for the MES or MESM majors at KP? Are there ever exceptions or waivers?

    4. What other drawbacks are there to the fact that the Marine Engineering major is not ABET accredited?

    I note that SUNY and Maine (I haven't checked Mass) Maritime Colleges seem to have more ABET accredited majors and that maybe, if DS's GPA at KP is not enough to major in MES or MESM, I wonder if a transfer is worthwhile so as to get an ABET accredited degree?

    If anyone can shed some light on these concerns, I would be most appreciative.
     
  2. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    We have asked KP but have gotten a variety of answers:

    1. ABET not necessary for grad to advance in license. It seems that the license advancement is most important for most grads. In fact there are teachers at school that have captain and chief engineer licenses but do not have even masters' degrees much less Ph.D's.

    2. Most grads do not go for a masters in engineering. If they want to and are not systems, they will have to take 2 additional classes to be eligible for some programs after graduation. Again, it seems like the license is most important in the industry unless they are moving out of the marine area and into mechanical or electrical engineering.

    3. Have heard that the school believes that it would be too hard for everyone to get through the additional "systems" classes (one more physics, one more calc and capstone), especially given the compressed timing of the 4 years. At this point, you need at least at 2.75 to be eligible for the systems major. Don't know about the shipyard management. Haven't heard of them making exceptions to that rule.

    4. The degree at KP is a Bach. of Science in Marine Engineering, not a Bach. of Engineering.
     
  3. baxted

    baxted Member

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    ABET

    I think kpbaseballmom summed it up pretty well. I have been through the ABET ringer once in a 4 year mechanical engineering science program and last year in a two year mechanical technology program. ABET looks for very specific academic requirements that the marine engineering program does not meet (ie; the physics and extra calculus course). That may or may not be a concern; some schools may require the two classes before allowing your DS in for a master's, many won't especially if they pursue a Master in Engineering instead of a Master of Science. Also, if your DS decides to get an MBA, the calculus won't be a problem!

    Finally, if your DS is sent and paid for by their employer, the entrance to the desired Master program is assured. I got the cold shoulder when I applied for my MS in Mechanical Engineering at RPI until I spoke the magic words: "I work for IBM and they are paying the bill". However, this pales to my older brother who has a Bachelor of Arts in American History from Duke but the Navy made him take a Master of Science in Physics.

    The key point is, don't sweat the lack of ABET accreditation for this program; that problem is easily overcome.
     
  4. nhpdad

    nhpdad Member

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    Thanks kpbaseballmom. Thanks Baxted.
     
  5. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    As long as one of the KP majors is ABET accredited than that is all that matters. I have plenty of sweathog classmates who have advanced engineering degrees and PEs and the fact that their specific degree was not accreditied didn't slow them down whatsoever. I know one dualie who has PhD in Engineering and is a professor at a major, well known University.
     
  6. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    And to clarify:

    In no way did I want to demean the non PhD's that teach at KP. In fact, a Dr. of Engineering who teaches at KP said that it was important to have a mix - both of advanced degreed teachers and licensed professional captains and chiefs teaching the mids. The PhD's without recent experience at sea "getting their hands dirty" need the more hands-on recent sea experienced teachers to let them know what's happening in the real world. So a balance is necessary. Hopefully, no one's ego gets in the way of the two groups acting in a collegial manner!!
     
  7. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Paquette anyone? He was one of the most notoriously difficult Engineering professors and he did not have a PhD. It was his Machine Design course that separated the Systems geeks from us cool Sweathoggers.

    For the Marine Engineering courses, a Chief Engineer license IS their PhD.
     
  8. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    They broke out the Systems track during my time at the Zoo. We were the experimental class that was told the accreditation would be retroactive (it wasn't - but that isn't the subject of this thread). I could see the writing on the wall and stayed with the "sweathog" program (it hadn't been called that) since I fully intended to, and did, go to sea. Classes like metal cutting and joining were far more valuable to me than another quarter (yikes) of calculus and physics. Of course advanced courses can be taken by anyone after graduation to make up for any perceived shortcomings of their degree. Having a BS in Marine Engineering instead of an Engineering degree HAS NOT hampered me at all in obtaining gainful employment since graduation.
     
  9. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Me either. It was enough to classify me as a Mechanical Engineer when I worked for Uncle Sam.
     
  10. kpcrew

    kpcrew Member

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    My take on ABET certification is that it is more important in the ivy towers of academia then in the real world of government service, commerce and industry.
     
  11. nucwarrant

    nucwarrant Member

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    Agree with the above regarding the value of the license. I didn't get my undergrad from KP but chose their MS in marine eng. Nobody in my world really cares about my academic credentials other than at some point in my life I got a BS. All they care about is my NRC docket number for my senior reactor operator licnese. I imagine the maritime industry is the same way when you've got a chief engineer's license.
    Degree mean you were able to make it through course work. License means you can actually do a job.
     
  12. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    Degree mean you were able to make it through course work. License means you can actually do a job.[/QUOTE]

    I like how you put it. It makes sense.
     
  13. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I like how you put it. It makes sense.[/QUOTE]

    Well, a license shows that you may have the ability to do the job. Lots of folks out there with drivers' licenses that, well, you know. . . .

    I have also sailed with some folks that were licensed that also made me raise an eyebrow every now and then. . . . I have even fired some. . . .
     
  14. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama Member

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    All of what you say goes w/out saying! I see it in education all the time. Having a license doesn't mean a person can teach. Oh, and it appears my forum entry to which you are referring didn't take the quote from the previous nucwarrent's posting properly. I can't take credit for his quote!
     
  15. JimT

    JimT New Member

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    The ABET accreditation comes in handy if you are planning on getting licensed as a Professional Engineer. The ABET degree reduces the amount of employment experience required vs. the non-ABET degree, and some state licensing boards may give you trouble when applying with a non ABET degree.

    I don't remember there being a GPA cut off to sign up for Systems of Engineering Management programs when I was at KP. I would have never made that cut off, based on plebe year grades.
     
  16. thohill

    thohill Member

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    The grade cutoff is now a 2.67 Cumulative or higher after 3rd tri Plebe year.
     
  17. JimT

    JimT New Member

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    Back in 98/99 we had to select the Managment track during the second trimester. My section was already taking specific major course work by the third semester, since out of three engineering majors we had the worst course load.

    Can't say I'm a big fan of that cut off, those Math and Science courses right off of indoc on that schedule eat up a lot of people. My engineering course GPA was way higher than my cumulative GPA.
     

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