EKU’s bachelor’s degree in fire protection and safety engineering technology offers students a degree that is ABET-ETAC accredited. ETAC (Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission) is an accreditation that in some states will allow you to pursue professional engineering licensure. However, other states will not accept ABET-ETAC accredited degrees in order to pursue professional licensure. More about ABET accreditation can be seen in one of our recent articles.
SFPE Position Statement
Recently, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) released position statement PS 2022-02 . In this position statement, SFPE states they believe, “that graduation from an accredited engineering or engineering technology program demonstrates sufficient education for the pursuit of professional engineering licensure in fire protection engineering”. Essentially, SFPE is recommending that all states accept ABET-ETAC accredited degrees in order to pursue professional engineering licensure.
This is a strong position statement to the landscape of fire protection engineering. SFPE is the organization that writes and releases the recommended core competencies for the field of fire protection engineering. These core competencies are used to determine if a degree program’s curriculum can be ABET accredited. Further, these core competencies are used to determine what will be on the professional engineering exam developed by professional engineers at the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
States are Changing
Each state regulates and issues their own professional engineering licenses. This means the educational requirements for pursuing professional engineering licensure are different for each state. It is possible that states that don’t currently allow graduates from ABET-ETAC accredited programs to pursue professional engineering licensure will reevaluate their requirements in light of SFPE’s position statement.
For example, Tennessee historically required a degree from an ABET-EAC accredited program in order to meet the educational requirements to pursue professional engineering licensure in the state. However, Tennessee seems to have already started to take the same position of SFPE. In 2022, Senate Bill 2479, passing on April 7, changed these educational requirements. Now, in addition to the previous requirements, Tennessee allows a graduate from an ABET-ETAC accredited curriculum to meet the educational requirements for pursuing professional engineering licensure.
This is exciting news for graduates of EKU’s bachelor’s degree in fire and safety engineering technology program. They now have the ability to pursue professional licensure in Tennessee. Optimistically, other states that currently do not allow ABET-ETAC curriculum to meet their educational requirements for professional engineering licensure will begin to change their regulations as well.
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