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Abet 2000 Accreditation Issues In International Education

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Global Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.132.1 - 7.132.6



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D. Joseph Mook

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Session 2002-2085

ABET Accreditation Issues in International Education

D. Joseph Mook University at Buffalo, State University of New York and James M. Cunningham Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


ABET 2000 accreditation criteria have substantially changed the philosophy of establishing the equivalency of programs within engineering education, and in particular, equivalency between programs offered in different nations. Under the old (pre-2000) system, course equivalencies might be established by simply showing that the same textbook was used in each course. However, with the newer guidelines, the standard of accreditation is based on “outcomes assessment” and now includes many more “soft” measures than was previously the case. The procedure for establishing some equivalency for a student who spends a semester or longer abroad as part of an accredited US engineering program, is now more ambiguous.

In this paper, a review of the ABET 2000 criteria as they relate to international exchange agreements is given. In particular, a student who shows the independence and motivation to participate in a study abroad program actually strengthens the satisfaction of many of the softer ABET 2000 criteria by virtue of the demands he/she must meet in order to successfully complete the study abroad program.

I. Study Abroad in Engineering

The importance of international experience for US engineering professionals has never been greater and will likely continue to increase substantially in the years ahead. The old notion of domestic corporations has essentially vanished, and this is especially true as the size of the corporation increases. It is almost inconceivable that current US engineering graduates will not have very substantial interactions with foreign partners, or at least with foreign operations of their own companies, during their projected working lives. In fact, many of them will receive foreign assignments requiring them to relocate abroad for extended periods during their careers. Study Abroad programs during the educational years represent an outstanding opportunity to prepare students for the future.

Unfortunately, US engineering student participation in study abroad programs does not yet adequately reflect this new reality. There is plenty of blame to go around - corporations, despite

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Mook, D. J. (2002, June), Abet 2000 Accreditation Issues In International Education Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10703

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