Three four-year programs at SUNY Canton get accredited

Jordan Edwards, Brooklyn, completes a circuit board for a radio in SUNY Canton’s electrical technology labs. Greg Kie

SUNY Canton announced Thursday that its youngest bachelor degree programs received accreditation by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. The programs, which received a full site review by accreditors last year, send graduates into fields where they can expect someday to earn around $80,000.

The college received the accreditation for programs in civil and environmental, electrical, and mechanical technology. All three — which began in 2010 — boast a 100 percent placement rate, according to a college news release. The accreditation is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2012.

“The four-year educational tracks were developed to build upon SUNY Canton’s strong, ABET-accredited associate degree programs,” said Michael J. Newtown, interim dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology. “Students have advanced career mobility through our four-year programs.”

Students in civil and environmental technology at the college are afforded this mobility through the addition of advanced courses in structural design, practical industry skills and technology. According to Adrienne C. Rygel, program director and associate professor, the four-year program builds on the two-year civil engineering technology program.

“Students build upon their classes in the natural sciences to tackle real-life problems,” she said.

Ms. Rygel said the median salary for civil and environmental engineers is about $80,000. Graduates of the program have found jobs at businesses such as Atlantic Testing Labs, Canton, Kiewit Infrastructure, Aurora, Colo., and Cives Steel, Gouverneur. The college’s mechanical technology graduates are finding work at Boeing, Corning Inc. and Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., Brewerton, in a field where the median income is about $80,000, Ms. Rygel said.

In the mechanical tech program, students have applied their learning to building three-dimensional printers, which they have used to print projects, and are designing an off-road vehicle in the engineering club.

“Our program is unique in that students have several pathways to direct their career,” said Daniel J. Miller, assistant professor and department chairman. “Several students are continuing their education in doctorate programs studying biomedical engineering research fields.”

Because of the new accreditation, students in the electrical tech program will be able to take an exam right after graduation that counts toward their professional engineer license, according to Professor Stephen E. Frempong, program director.

Median salaries for electrical engineering positions are near $90,000, according to Ms. Rygel.

Recent graduates of the program have found work at the Ansen Corp., Ogdensburg, New York Independent System Operator and the New York Power Authority, among others, Mr. Newtown said.

“Accreditation really helps establish the quality and value of these programs,” SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran said. “It is further evidence that our programs have met the standards necessary to produce well-qualified graduates who are prepared to enter their chosen careers.”


By Alan Rizzo, Times Staff Writer