Engineering degree program accredited

A mechanical engineering degree program offered jointly by Colorado Mesa University and the University of Colorado has earned accreditation.

The recognition comes from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, an organization that accredits college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

The partnership program allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from CU in Boulder by taking classes delivered at CMU in Grand Junction. Students receive CMU instruction their first two years, followed by coursework taught by CU faculty for their final two years. The program is the first to offer a bachelor’s degree in engineering on the Western Slope.

“We are pleased that the program has the seal of approval from ABET and are even happier that our students have access to a mechanical engineering degree without leaving the Western Slope, thanks to the partnership we have with CU,” said CMU President Tim Foster.

The joint program was launched in 2008 and awarded degrees to its first graduates in May 2012. ABET requires graduates from a program before accreditation. The accreditation is retroactive to include degrees granted to 2012 and 2013 graduates.

A total of 22 students have graduated from the program in the last two years. Most have found positions in the engineering field immediately upon graduation, according to Timothy Brower, director of the program. Many graduates work for energy companies on the Western Slope.

Another 30 students are enrolled in the program as juniors or seniors and are in position to graduate in the next two years.