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Is the Engineering Accreditation Useful?

  The importance of standards is stressed more and more in the global world.  Therefore, Dongguk University (DU) has accepted the Engineering Accreditation (EA) system for studying Engineering and Information & Industrial Science.
  However, accreditation is not confirmed; so many students are wondering how useful it will be for getting a job.  Students who attended this curriculum were graduated in February, but its merits for job hunting aren't clear.  The Dongguk Post wants to determine the merits of this system.

  What is the EA and How to Get it?
  This system is similar to the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), a well-known certification system.  The corporation for approving these certifications is regarded as reliable and customers trust and buy its goods. Likewise, the students who study in this accredited educational program are regarded as high quality students.
To get the certification, students have to acquire thirty credits of Basic Science and Math (BSM), twelve credits in fundamental subjects and about sixty credits in their major classes.  "To graduate, I have to complete this program.  I couldn't take non-major classes during freshman and sophomore year in order to take BSM and fundamental subjects," said Lee Eun-su, sophomore in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. Generally, students take the BSM subjects and four courses for two years.  Then they have to study their major after taking those.  There are high restrictions to get board certified.

  Is This Accreditation Useful?

  "We started the new system to give high-quality education. We submit the plans of teaching schedules and objectives to Accreditation Board Engineering Education of Korea annually.  They evaluate our program and we won't be accredited if they give us a low grade.  We're searching for the type of students  the corporations want.  The professors make a specific plan based on these data.  Then we better prepared our students,"?said Hong Sung-jo, professor in  the Dept. of Industrial Engineering.
  It's good that students get high quality lessons.  However, many students are wondering whether it's useful for getting a job.  There is no clear data to answer for getting questions.  The tasks about EA are managed in College of Engineering, but there is no full-time staff in charge of it.  "We're too busy dealing with our own work and it's impossible to deal with the EA without extra staff.  It's an urgent problem.  Even the Dean of the College of the Engineering was doing chief of Center of Engineering Education of Dongguk (CEED) until one month ago," said Kim Jong-ae of Academic Support in the College of Engineer.

  Samsung announced in February that it would give ten-extra interview points to EA students.  It's the first group to be given extra points.  "To know its usefulness for getting a job, I compared students both studied by the Accreditation system and who didn't it.  But it's hard to find any advantage to for getting a job.  This program only started 6 years ago.  We need time to announce the programs to the public," added Prof. Hong.

DU Vision - How Can the Program be Useful to the Students?   

Change the School Authority (SA)'s Mind about Engineering Accreditation

  Without support from the school, these programs will end.  Yonsei University, which accepted the program last year, has an office and four counselors to explain it to students.  Professor Lee Yui-soo, the new chief of CEED expects support from the school.  Until now, this program was supported by professors?efforts.  They kept the program going despite a lack of funds and space.  President Hong Ki-sam had a positive mind about the EA after Samsung announced its 10-points policy.  The SA should give an office and add new staff to take charge of EA.  It must change SA's mind about the EA.

Students Must Recognize the Importance of the Program

  The program was started to help students.  Students must have a positive mind about learning, even if  there is no reason to accept it.  Some students only take this Accreditation program to graduate.  According to the staff of the Administration Office in the College of Engineering, no one even visited to ask about this program.  Visit the office and ask the professor about the program.  They're waiting for you.

Make the Program More Efficient

  Although the programs is designed for minimum engineering ability through the BSM courses, some students are at a disadvantage.  They have different subjects for their majors.  For example, although students majoring in Computer Engineering do not need math and science, some students take the classes to graduate.  It's not efficient to apply the same requirements to students taking EA.  The SA must changes the restriction to support these students.

Make the Program More Interesting

  When students entered DU, the professors give them an empty portfolio in which they are to arrange their reports, pictures of their work and grades.  They could show the portfolio when doing job hunting.  By making the E-portfolio, they make it easy to arrange and manage their careers.
The EA began at DU in 2000.  If we change its weak points, the school, students and professors could benefit.



Seo Yong-geun  komet99@dongguk.edu

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