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August 25, 2005

Smith College's Picker Engineering Program Receives Accreditation

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET) recently awarded accreditation to Smith College’s pioneering engineering program.

The status is retroactive to include the first two classes that graduated with bachelors of science degrees from the Picker Engineering Program, the nation’s first engineering program at a women’s college.

“This speaks to the quality and commitment of our faculty who have been tireless in establishing a program of the highest quality,” said Susan C. Bourque, provost and dean of the faculty. “Smith has created a distinctive program of national stature and that has been recognized.”

The accreditation process provides a structured mechanism to assess and evaluate the quality of academic programs in an effort to help students and parents choose quality programs. In recognition of the importance of accreditation, Smith invited ABET to conduct a program evaluation during the 2004-05 academic year.

“Although we expected to receive accreditation, the letter was a joy to read,” said Linda E. Jones, director of the Picker Engineering Program. “It reaffirmed the importance of everything we do in the process of educating students who will go on to make meaningful contributions to society as the leaders of tomorrow.”

Smith established the engineering program in 1999 and enrolled the first students in the fall of 2000. The program has been growing steadily since. Engineering is now one of the most popular majors among entering students. Two new faculty members joined the program this year, and two more will be hired in the near future.

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.

ABET is among the most respected accreditation organizations in the United States, providing leadership that ensures quality and stimulates innovation in applied science, computing, engineering and technology education.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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