June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.149.1 - 14.149.14
ABET Accreditation – Resolving a Weakness or Concern Abstract
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) criterion for Assessment and Evaluation are discussed from the perspective of a Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program’s experience with the ABET Technology Accreditation Committee (TAC) re-accreditation process. Specifically, the resolving of the institutional weakness related to the MET program in the 2007-08 Criterion 3: Assessment and Evaluation, (2008-09 ABET-TAC Criterion 4: Continuous Improvement). The resolution of the weakness discussed is related to the clear distinction between program educational objectives and program outcomes, the relationship of the ABET-TAC Criterion 2 [a-k] to each objective, and the assessment measures and metrics associated with each objective. An assessment methodology implemented to resolve this weakness is described along with examples of data measurement tools utilized. Advantages and disadvantages of data collection methods are analyzed in this report, given that there is not one single method of measurement that can predict program improvement. A distinction is made between the program educational objectives assessment tools: job placement data; alumni survey; employer survey; and input from industrial advisory board, and the program outcome assessment tools: course assessment; student rating of instruction; senior exit exam; senior project evaluation; and senior exit survey. Each assessment tool is discussed in relation to the criteria (or metric used), results, and use of the results for continuous improvement. Techniques to assist in gathering the data, such as the use of online survey tools are presented to lessen the burden on the assessment team, as well as plans for the future.
The MET and EET programs were evaluated during a site visit in October, 2005 while seeking reaccreditation of their respective programs by ABET-TAC. The ABET response after the 2006 Summer Meeting was to accredit the programs to September 30, 2008, and require that a request be made to ABET by January 31, 2007 for a reaccreditation report evaluation. Also, a report describing the actions taken to correct the shortcomings identified needed to be submitted to ABET by July 1, 2007. One of the Institutional Weaknesses reported by ABET was Criterion 3: Assessment and Evaluation stating that each program had ambitious plans, but neither program had collected data from every assessment measure. Also, there were no documented examples to show that the continuous loop had been closed by way of program improvement.
The response to this assessment was that the MET program, realizing the plan was too ambitious for the available resources, decided to benchmark other institutions and then revisit the program goals and objectives re-linking them to the a-k criteria to be completed by April 28, 2006. As requested, on July 28, 2007 a Reaccreditation Report was submitted to ABET outlining the corrective actions taken for the identified shortcomings. Included in this report was an updated MET Assessment Plan, including (3) attachments: The Assessment Process Overview; The Updated List of Program
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