Benedict College is the First HBCU in South Carolina to Offer an Accredited Environmental Engineering Program 2
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Benedict College is the First HBCU in South Carolina to Offer an Accredited Environmental Engineering Program

Columbia, SC– The Environmental Engineering Program at Benedict College received its initial accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the national organization that accredits undergraduate programs in engineering, engineering technology, and computer science. Accreditation criteria and standards are developed with ABET’s member societies with the goal of assuring confidence in STEM education.

Benedict College is the first HBCU in South Carolina to offer an accredited BS degree in Environmental Engineering, one of only two in the state. Clemson University is the only other institution in South Carolina with an accredited Environmental Engineering program. Since its inception in 2012, the program has more than doubled its enrollment, indicating a growing demand for the major.

“ABET accreditation is the recognized seal of approval that validates that our environmental engineering program meets the highest standards and positions our graduates to pursue careers as licensed engineers and representing the BEST of BC!” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President, and CEO of Benedict College.

The 2022 graduating class had a 100% hiring rate. The program prepares students for careers in water and wastewater treatment, solid waste management, remediation in polluted sites and air quality engineering. The scholars typically engage in internships during the summer, either with environmental engineering-related firms or in research labs at Benedict College and other institutions. During this time, the students complete a senior design project in partnership with local engineering firms or the City of Columbia.

“I commend our talented and hard-working faculty who have demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service,” said Dr. Janeen P. Witty, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 “ABET accreditation is a game-changing for Benedict’s Environmental Engineering program, in terms of recruiting and the opportunities available to our students after they graduate.” noted Dr. Jessica Furrer, Program Head and ABET Coordinator. “Earning a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program will allow our students to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam immediately after graduation and ultimately pursue professional licensure, which is critical for design engineers in this field. Employers look for students to have an ABET- accredited degree because it gives them confidence that they are well-prepared for a career in environmental engineering.”

For more information go about ABET visit it:


About Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 26 competitive baccalaureate degree programs. The Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. 

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 

There are over 18,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 

The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.  For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge scholarship and research.  In 2019, Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest

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