Liberty University School of Engineering & Computational Sciences (SECS) is on the rise. In the last year, the school has received ABET accreditation for its computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and industrial & systems engineering programs, ensuring that 100 percent of its students will have graduated under an ABET accredited program. ABET is the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.
The school continues to strengthen existing programs while seeking to add new ones that will bolster its effectiveness. On the engineering side, SECS is awaiting approval for a mechanical engineering program, the single most requested engineering program.
Engineering jobs have some of the highest starting salaries. Although the different disciplines are similar in terms of the job market, studies show mechanical engineering has the largest student demand.
Computational sciences is booming as well. New programs are being added, such as applied Internet technology and a multidisciplinary minor in information security to give students a competitive edge.
SECS is also seeking final approval on a new master’s program in cyber security. The school works closely with the School of Business and its Business Management Information Systems program to ensure that all computer and technology-based programs are effectively training students to meet the demands of the job market.
As these robust programs continue to be enhanced, SECS is planning to implement additional online programs, beginning with applied web technologies in the Fall 2014 semester.
The school is expanding at a rapid rate. Since the announcement of ABET accreditation last year, inquiries have risen about 400 percent. To accommodate the anticipated growth, more space is being planned for labs and classrooms. Students already have access to the latest technology equipment, such as an electron microscope, a materials printer, circuit board printers, inverted microscope, and a 3D printer with Computer Aided Drafting software.
SECS is committed to creating a fluid, vibrant learning experience. It is preparing to build two active learning classrooms designed to engage students with multimedia technology that allows interaction between users. Classrooms will be equipped with fully writable walls, similar to whiteboards.
To guide the school into the future, the university has taken steps to ensure that the leadership of SECS maintains continuity and vision. David Donahoo, after serving as interim dean for 18 months, has been promoted to dean.
“Donahoo is a highly effective leader who was able to coalesce his faculty into a harmonious working team. Enrollment and retention have significantly improved, and under his leadership several programs secured ABET accreditation,” said Dr. Ron Godwin, Liberty’s provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.
Donahoo attributes much of the success and progress of SECS to its excellent faculty and staff.
“Each one has stepped up and contributed to our forward motion,” he said. “The one common thing we all have is a desire to be right here, at Liberty, training our engineering and computing students to become Champions for Christ. That is a great foundation for our continued growth and success.”