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Two new engineering schools at historically Black colleges and universities have recently joined the Council of Engineering Deans at Historically Black Colleges, bringing the total number of ABET-accredited institutions in the Academic Council to 17.

These institutions account for over one-third of Black engineering graduates each year and contribute significantly to creating and maintaining diverse STEM workforces, which is essential for the government and industry to compete in a global economy.

The latest addition to the Council of Engineering Deans at Historically Black Colleges is Central State University, which is Ohio’s sole public HBCU and 1890 Land-Grant Institution.

The current Interim Dean of the Central State University John W. Garland College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture is Dr. Arunasalam Rahunanthan.

At a Council meeting in March, he gave a presentation on CSU’s unique status and detailed the expansion of the university’s academic programs over the years, including its engineering programs.

Their Manufacturing Engineering and Environmental Engineering programs were accredited by ABET in 1991 and 2017, respectively, and the Central State engineering programs currently have over 70 students.

During the same meeting, the Council voted and accepted CSU as a new member of the HBCU Council of Engineering Deans.

The John W. Garland College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture (JWG CESTA) at Central State University has two ABET-accredited engineering programs: Manufacturing Engineering and Environmental Engineering.

The Manufacturing Engineering Program (MFE) was founded in 1985, and for over 33 years since 1991, it has continuously been accredited by ABET (EAC). The MFE curriculum blends the tripartite Mechanical, Electrical, and Industrial Engineering disciplines into a synergistic whole.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Engineering (ENE) Program is offered in the Department of Water Resources Management, the International Center for Water Resources Management academic division at CSU.

The department also offers a bachelor’s degree in Water Resources Management (WRM). The ENE program inherited several courses from the parent WRM program, and new courses were added to cover all three areas: water, air, and land. The first cohort of the ENE program started in the 2008-2009 academic year, and the first batch graduated in 2011. The program had undergone its first ABET (EAC) evaluation in the 2016-2017 cycle and was accredited starting with the 2017 graduating class. Since then, the ENE program has maintained its ABET accreditation.

Dr. Arunasalam Rahunanthan, a Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, is currently serving as Interim Dean of JWG CESTA. He received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Wyoming and is a recipient of the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education Faculty Excellence Award. He completed his leadership fellowship in the Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership during the academic year 2019-20.

In June 2023, Texas Southern University became the newest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Council of Engineering Deans member.

During a council meeting, TSU presented its engineering programs, including civil and electrical engineering, highlighting its commitment to diversity in STEM fields.

The HBCU Council of Engineering Deans unanimously voted to accept TSU as the 16th council member.

In 2015, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board authorized Texas Southern University’s College of Science and Technology to offer bachelor’s degree programs in civil engineering, electrical engineering, and computer engineering. What sets TSU apart is the formal co-op engineering track that it provides.

This unique opportunity allows students to gain valuable work experience with corporations, industries, and government agencies before graduation. The Cooperative Education Track enables students to alternate work semesters with school semesters, providing a balanced approach to their career goals and academic studies. Both engineering programs received accreditation from the prestigious Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in September 2022, further validating the unique opportunities offered.

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