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May 2023
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MVNU earns ABET accreditation for Engineering Department

MOUNT VERNON — Five years after offering the first class in its undergraduate engineering program, Mount Vernon Nazarene University has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). President Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II, was informed of the decision Wednesday.

“The engineering program was the dream of Dr. Richard Sutherland,” said Spaulding. “He told me early on that he came to MVNU to serve as a Professor of Physics and Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences to start the engineering program. Today, that dream has been recognized by ABET. We should all be happy about this excellent news and the good work we are doing with our engineering program.”

ABET accreditation assures that MVNU’s program meets standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.

“I am thrilled. I’m happy for our students and faculty,” said Dr. LeeAnn Couts, Dean of the School of Natural and Social Science and faculty lead for the accreditation process. “This speaks to the quality of the program, and I’m excited for the students to be a part of an accredited program.”

All engineering graduates are now qualified to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is required to become a professional licensed engineer. According to Couts, the accreditation is retroactive to MVNU’s first engineering graduates, which realized 100 percent employment in their field within one month of graduation.

Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. Reviews examine program curricula, faculty, facilities and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia and government, with expertise in ABET disciplines.

“This is such a good day for us as an institution. So many hopeful, visionary people contributed to this day,” said Dr. Barnett Cochran, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We were determined from the start to apply to ABET as soon as we were eligible. We didn’t know how difficult that was going to be. LeeAnn inherited a very aggressive timeline and her strong leadership and grace-filled commitment to success got us over the finish line.”

The Department of Engineering includes Dr. Sutherland, who is coming out of retirement to chair the program; Dr. Jose Oommen, Assistant Professor of Engineering; Dr. Jeongmoon Park, Assistant Professor of Engineering; and Dr. Qiuyan Li, Assistant Professor of Engineering; and Gregory Childers, Engineering Technician.

MVNU’s engineering program started in the fall of 2014 and offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering with concentrations in electrical and mechanical engineering. It is now one the university’s top five chosen majors, with 2018-19 enrollment nearly doubling the number of new freshmen.

For more information on MVNU’s Engineering program, or to apply, visit

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 31 states and 22 countries/U.S. territories.