How to choose right college?

Choosing the right college is an extremely personal and often stressful decision for students and their families. In order to relieve the stress, students are encouraged to establish a set of criteria to use when contemplating which college is the best choice for them.

Some Criteria for Consideration

ACADEMIC PROGRAM
Choose a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Most employers and graduate schools prefer applicants who have earned a degree from an ABET-accredited program because accreditation ensures that the program follows national standards of quality for faculty, curricula, students, administration, facilities, and institutional commitment. All ABET-accredited programs are highly regarded by the profession. While there are more than 3,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States, less than 20 percent offer at least one accredited engineering program.
FACULTY
Quality education requires qualified faculty. Choosing an ABET-accredited program means that faculty at that institution meet specific national standards. In addition, ABET accredited programs are more likely to have an emphasis on both research and teaching—so that you can have both theoretical and practical training simultaneously. The facultyto- student ratio is another important consideration. Smaller ratios mean more personal interaction with instructors.
ACADEMIC RESOURCES
Engineering is an academically rigorous major. Look for schools that are especially conducive to studying. Be aware of various kinds of academic advising and student affairs services. Check to see if study groups and tutoring are offered. Ask if professors and teaching assistants are readily available to help students. Look for state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries, science facilities, and computer labs that cater to engineering students. Such resources allow you to concentrate on learning rather than having to search for materials and equipment, or to settle for out-of-date or inadequate resources.
CAREER PREPARATION
The best engineering education is comprised of more than just classroom and laboratory experience. Engineers need to develop marketable skills for life after graduation. Communication, teamwork, and creativity are the “soft-skills” sought by the most lucrative employers and prestigious graduate schools. Summer internships and undergraduate research opportunities give that kind of experience while often allowing you to earn money. National engineering clubs and organizations help you build leadership experience while networking with other engineers.

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