Engineering student working in laboratory

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North Central College Engineering programs receive ABET accreditations

Sep 14, 2023

Undergraduate Computer,Electrical, and MechanicaL Engineering Programs Prepare Students to Thrive as “21st Century Engineers”

North Central College’s undergraduate engineering programs have received accreditation from ABET, the preeminent accrediting body in the U.S. for college and university STEM disciplines. ABET accreditation assures that programs meet global standards designed to prepare students for successful careers in their fields, particularly relating to innovative practices, emerging technologies, and public welfare and safety needs. This designation makes North Central College the only ABET-accredited school in west suburban Chicago.

“When we launched our undergraduate engineering programs during the 2018-2019 academic year, securing ABET accreditation as soon as we were eligible to do so was always the goal,” said Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at North Central College. “We’re grateful to ABET for their thorough analysis of our programs, and I’m extraordinarily proud of our talented faculty members for their dedication to our students and their diligence in aligning our programs with the high standards established by ABET.”

North Central offers undergraduate degree paths in computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering. The programs are designed to create “21st Century Engineers”—engineers whose training is more than just technical. Knowledge and skills are connected to students’ understanding of humanity, with the goal of helping them solve societal issues, build more sustainable solutions, and ultimately become versatile engineers ready to adapt to new challenges and innovations. The College’s liberal arts core and well-rounded curriculum prepares students to be strong communicators, critical thinkers, and creative problem solvers.

“North Central College is a one-stop-shop if you want to be an engineer in Chicago’s western suburbs,” said Frank Harwath, professor of engineering and director of the College’s engineering program. “Our graduates are already working at a number of the biggest companies in the area, and the feedback we receive from employers is overwhelmingly positive thanks to the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experiences that students are able to gain through our program.”

Engineering students have access to cutting-edge technology and resources within the College’s 125,000-square-foot Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center, which opened in 2017, as well as the recently constructed Dr. Myron Wentz Center for Health Sciences and Engineering. These facilities house state-of-the-art teaching and research labs, including the HARTING Electronics Lab, the Molex Advanced Electronics Lab, the Omron Design and Automation Lab, the Computing Applications Lab, the Metrology Lab, and the 6,000-square-foot Manufacturing Processes Lab that houses the Navistar Integrated Manufacturing Space.

“Thanks to the significant investment the College has made in our science and engineering facilities, and partnerships we’ve developed with regionally based employers, our students have access to the latest tools and technology right here on campus,” said Harwath. “They are able to learn and work on the equipment that they’ll use as professional engineers, which gives them a leg up when it comes to applying for jobs, internships or post-graduate studies.”

To learn more about North Central’s engineering programs and degree pathways, visit