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Abet Best Practices: Results From Interviews With 27 Peer Institutions

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Improving Multidisciplinary Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.114.1 - 10.114.23



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Paper Authors

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Teresa Mayes

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John Bennett

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

ABET Best Practices: Results from Interviews with 27 Peer Institutions

Terry S. Mayes, John K. Bennett

College of Engineering and Applied Science University of Colorado at Boulder


ABET2000 criteria permit a variety of approaches to assessment. While this flexibility allows each institution the freedom to develop practices best suited to its particular circumstances, such flexibility can also create doubt whether the assessment practices employed will be found to be satisfactory by ABET evaluators. As the College of Engineering & Applied Science at CU- Boulder prepares for a fall 2005 ABET General Review of all of its programs, a number of peer institutions and knowledgeable experts were interviewed to gather information about “best practices” in the field of assessment and accreditation. This article summarizes data collected from telephone interviews with thirty-three individuals from twenty-seven institutions. Twenty questions asked respondents about their measurement methods for objectives and outcomes (advisory board input, alumni surveys, senior surveys, portfolios, FE exam, etc.), methods for engaging faculty and rewarding ABET coordinators, degree of college oversight, and methods for ensuring that a continuous improvement process is in place. The resulting data reflect a clear commitment to assessment and continual improvement on the part of virtually every respondent. Taken as a whole, these data provide a catalog of potential best practices. The data also reflect the difficulty in creating accurate and meaningful evaluation measures of highly subjective criteria.

Summary of Findings

This report summarizes the data collected from phone interviews with thirty-three individuals from twenty-seven institutions (see the Appendix). The primary purpose of conducting these interviews was to obtain information from peer institutions and knowledgeable experts about best practices in the field of assessment and accreditation. This was to support the college’s efforts in preparing for an ABET visit in the fall of 2005. A secondary purpose was to quickly familiarize the new Director of Academic Programs and Assessment with current trends in assessment and accreditation.

Although no attempt was made to specifically include any identifiably "general" or "multidisciplinary" engineering programs in the interviewing sample (this was not a focus of this particular study), it is likely that many of the responses would be similar for these programs. The majority of the respondents replied for departments that were discipline specific (e.g.,

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Mayes, T., & Bennett, J. (2005, June), Abet Best Practices: Results From Interviews With 27 Peer Institutions Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14785

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