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Computer Science and Engineering Program Maintains Distinguished ABET Accreditation

Aliah Salih

For the fourth consecutive time, AUC’s computer science and engineering (CSE) program was reaccredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).  The program was praised for the quality of its curriculum, student creativity and completion of projects, flourishing teaching environments, equipped labs and competent faculty.

“This recognition and reaccreditation by ABET, which many schools seek, can be observed through our graduates’ work in the international market and their excellence in their respective areas,” said Ahmed Rafea, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

CSE is the first program outside of the United States to receive this recognition since 1999. "Even within the United States, only a few are accredited out of the thousands of computer science programs,” noted Amr El-Kadi, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “The first time we were accredited, there were less than 150 accredited programs.”

The standard criteria that the Computing Accreditation Commission considers are student performance, program educational objectives, student outcomes, continuous improvement, curriculum, faculty, facilities and institutional support. To maintain its standards, the program must demonstrate continuous improvement. "In a fast-changing field such as computing, our assessment ensures that we constantly uncover areas for improvement. We are blessed with faculty who can challenge highly qualified and passionate students," El-Kadi asserted.

From entrepreneurship to working for major companies such as Google, Amazon, Dell, Cisco, Orange and Microsoft, CSE’s former and current students have made contributions across different subfields of computer science.

 “We are looking to always be on top, and at the same level as the United States,” Rafea commented.  “AUC excels in its educational environment, the quality of faculty, the types of courses and the availability of equipment and software, with each student having space to do work in the labs. We are always updating our curriculum, from cycle to cycle. You have to make a lot of changes in computer science content.”

Having maintained this accreditation for nearly two decades, CSE recently started looking into new ways of further improving the program, creating tracks and specializations within the program to provide students with further knowledge in specific areas. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering has also initiated a task force. 

“We look for new research opportunities and ways to benefit other departments as well as ours,” said Rafea. “We’re still examining, but we’re exploring areas like Crypto-Currencies, security of data, big data analytics, intelligent system and application in the market. We are trying to find some way to include all this in our program.”

Starting as a minor in 1975 and becoming a major in 1985, the University’s CSE program has proven itself to be a reputable program, with many of its graduates thriving in their fields. “More than a qualification, the ABET accreditation gives the program equivalency, making it easier for students to pursue graduate studies and employment in Egypt and abroad,” Rafea added.