Engineering @ SSU: Moving Towards ABET Accreditation

A Brief Background:

The first engineering program at Sonoma State University was a Master’s program in Computer and Engineering Science (MS-CES) which was established in about two decades ago. The local community and high-tech companies donated a substantial amount of cash and equipment to Sonoma State University for starting the program. Following construction of several advanced laboratories with millions of dollars external cash and equipment, the undergraduate program in electrical engineering was established in 2005.

Electrical Engineering Program:

Since 2005 the department has graduated over 150 students with engineering degrees both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Almost all of our graduates have found successful employments and many of them were hired by the high-tech companies in San Francisco North Bay region who assisted us since the start of our engineering program. You may wish to visit our Testimonials page to see some examples of our graduates’ success in the field of electrical engineering.

The curriculum of our undergraduate EE program was built based on some of the most successful electrical engineering programs within the California State University system. One example is Cal Poly San Louis Obispo. We have also benefited from advice of our Industry Advisory Board for improving and fine tuning the electrical engineering core of our program. Additionally, we are continually soliciting advice from those companies who hire our graduates and have made our best efforts in implementing their advice on their perceived points that could use improvement.

One of the main features of our EE program is its hands-on focus. Our EE curriculum is project and laboratory-based and the main highlight of the program is the year-long senior design project. Please feel free to see a sample of our students’ senior design project topics.

ABET Accreditation:

Three years ago we officially started the process of obtaining ABET accreditation and hope to achieve this goal within the next 18 months. The strong interest on the part of our local industry for hiring our students indicates that the nature and rigor of our EE program is well in line with the needs of the high-tech industry in our region, some of which only hire the best in California and the nation (Check out our 2017 Reunion page). Nevertheless, while we are confident in the high quality of our EE graduates, we feel that obtaining ABET accreditation will further strengthen our degree’s appeal in the electrical engineering community. As indicated on the master plan, we are committed to submit the draft Self-Study Report (SSR) in 2019 and meet with ABET’s reviewers in 2020. We expect this process to be completed by late 2020 or early 2021. We would like to point out that once the ABET accreditation is successfully completed, we will seek Retroactive accreditation to cover students who graduated during the academic years prior to the evaluation visit.

We will be happy to provide you with more information. We would also like to invite you for a tour of our department so you can directly observe the quality of our engineering program, student projects and existing laboratories.