The information technology program of the Brigham Young University School of Technology recently became the first such program to receive accreditation under new guidelines set forth by ABET Inc., a national accreditation board.
“We feel that’s really a significant thing,” said Richard Helps, associate professor and chair of the program. “What is particularly exciting for us is that information technology is a new discipline, and we were helping to establish the standards for IT accreditation.”
The accreditation process involved a complex self-study wherein the department defined areas of weakness within the program and worked to strengthen them. For instance, the department recognized a nationwide emphasis on computer security, so security classes became part of the core curriculum instead of elective options. Following this study, the program was found to have met the established quality standards.
Helps said the accreditation process will continue to benefit the information technology program, providing opportunities for making up-to-the-minute changes in the curriculum.
“The goal of accreditation is that you set up a system where you continually review the program,” he said. “When one goes up for accreditation, especially in later years, they want to see proof that you’ve been continually improving the quality of your program.”
The information technology program involves the study of solving problems using computer resources. Students analyze the performance and compatibility of hardware, software, digital communication and networking. The field requires constant study as new technology emerges and changes the face of the discipline.
Established in 1932, ABET Inc. is the recognized U.S. accreditor of college and university programs in computing, applied science, engineering and technology. The board currently accredits approximately 2,700 programs in schools nationwide.
For more information, contact Richard Helps at (801) 422-6305.
Writer: Elizabeth Kasper