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Engineering Technology at Butler, a Cut Above

Engineering Technology Students
Published: Friday, May 13th, 2016

Butler Community College is the only two-year school in Kansas accredited by the international accrediting agency, ABET.

ABET accredits programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. Since 2005, Butler holds this accreditation in engineering graphics technology and manufacturing engineering technology. During the fall, the accreditation was renewed. More than 95% of four-year engineering schools in the country are ABET accredited. But only 58 two-year schools have that same accreditation.

“It’s not easy,” said ABET representative Danielle Duran Baron. “It shows a strong commitment.”

Butler’s engineering technology department must work year-round to keep improving in order to maintain this coveted accreditation. Faculty involvement is mandatory in order for accreditation to occur.

Professor Brett Trimpe consistently collects, evaluates, and reports data to the evaluation committee.

“I do a lot of statistical outcomes for ABET,” said Professor Trimpe. “As they (students) go through, I am making sure students are moving in the correct direction they need for the industry.”  

By making sure his students are meeting quality metrics, Trimpe is continually evaluating and improving the programs – a criteria essential for accreditation.

Having programs accredited by ABET helps graduates land jobs in a competitive market. Also, the accreditation affords them easy transfer, as long as grades permit, into another accredited school.

“This is a huge benefit for our students,” Trimpe said. “It’s an industry feather in your cap.”

Many businesses will only hire students from ABET accredited schools. If the student graduates with an engineering degree from a non-ABET-accredited school and they want the accreditation, they must go to an accredited school and redo their degree.

“Our ABET accreditation does validate the credibility and quality of our faculty and programs,” said Mel Whiteside, Butler Dean of Career and Technical Education. “Brett has done an outstanding job ensuring our ABET accreditation is maintained and our Engineering Technology and Manufacturing Technology programs are moving in the right direction.”

ABET accredits more than 3,500 programs worldwide. Recognized by the Council of Higher Education, ABET is a non-profit, non-governmental agency. This voluntary accreditation that supports quality assurance activities uses a peer-review process using experts throughout the world.

Only four other schools in Kansas hold ABET accreditation. Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, The University of Kansas, and Wichita State University.