Many institutions that wish to have their online computer science programs accredited will seek programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET). The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. is a Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) approved accrediting body. Because ABET is the largest CHEA-approved accrediting body for computer science programs–both traditional on-campus programs and online programs–it is recognized as being the provider of the most prestigious accreditation for various computer science-related degree programs.
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., is a non-governmental organization which exists solely to provide accreditation to post-secondary education programs in the areas of applied science, computing, engineering and in engineering technology. Programmatic accreditation is always important and, as such, students that are taking traditional on-campus computer science programs and students that are enrolled into one of the many online computer science programs should both check that their respective programs are accredited by ABET as that will ensure that they are obtaining a higher quality education than they might otherwise. ABET was originally established in 1932 as the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD). The ECPD was created by seven different engineering societies. These seven societies are: the American Society of Civil Engineers; the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers (which is now known as the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers); the American Society of Mechanical Engineers ; the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (which is now the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers); the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education (which is currently called the American Society for Engineering Education); the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and; the National Council of State Boards of Engineering Examiners (now known as the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying). ECPD changed its name to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. in 1980. ABET helped to establish the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB) in 1985. CSAB was created in response to a dramatic rise in the interest of computer science education, and the board is now one of ABET’s largest member societies with over 300 different programs. There are currently 696 ABET accredited programs internationally; 609 in the United States, 13 in Saudi Arabia, 12 in the United Arab Emirates, 11 programs in Mexico, 8 in Peru, 6 in Turkey, 4 across Indonesia, 4 in the Philippines, 3 in Kuwait, 3 in Columbia, 3 in Lebanon, 3 in Spain, 2 in Bahrain, 2 in Egypt, 2 in India, 2 in Jordan, 2 in Kazakhstan, 2 in Qatar, 2 in Singapore, 1 in Chile, 7 throughout China, 1 in Ecuador, 1 in Morocco, 1 in the Sultanate of Oman, 1 in Palestine, 1 in Russia, 1 in South Africa and a final program that is located in Vietnam.