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ABET Compliance Tracking System (ACTS)

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

ABET Accreditation, Assessment, and Program Improvement in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.128.1 - 22.128.11



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Paper Authors


Stephen Zahorian State University of New York, Binghamton

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Stephen A. Zahorian, Chair and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.

Stephen A. Zahorian has a B.S. degree from the University of Rochester, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Syracuse University, all in electrical engineering. Dr. Zahorian joined the electrical and computer engineering department at Binghamton University in August of 2006 as professor and chairman of the department. He was previously professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering department at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Industry experience includes work as an engineer at RCA Corporation in the Boston area, prior to beginning graduate school. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of signal processing, automatic speech recognition, using computers for biomedical signal processing, and renewable energy. He has obtained over 2 million dollars in total research funding and published over 50 papers in the area of speech signal processing. He and his students have developed a computer-based speech training aid for the hearing impaired. His work has resulted in one patent and one software licensing agreement for multi-media foreign language training. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the Acoustical Society of America, and the American Society of Engineering Education. He has been active in community outreach activities involving middle and high school students.

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Douglas H. Summerville Binghamton University


Scott Craver Department of Electrical Engineering, Binghamton University

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Scott Craver is an associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Binghamton University. His primary research focuses on computer and information security.

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Michael Elmore P.E. Binghamton University

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Mike Elmore is a visiting associate professor and director of the Engineering Design Division in the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University, State University of New York in Binghamton, NY.

He holds a B.S.E.E. (1985) degree from the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, a
M.S.E.E. (1988) degree from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, and a Ph.D. (2004) degree from Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.

He has worked for Lockheed Martin, IBM, General Electric, BAE Systems, and Celestica Corporation. He has 25 years of experience in these companies designing military and commercial power electronic circuits and as a systems engineer for airborne and land vehicle electrical systems.

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ABET Compliance Tracking System (ACTS)There is nearly universal agreement among engineering educators that the ABET2000 rules,although very well intentioned, have unintentionally increased the workload associates withdocumenting that all ABET outcomes (a through k) are met, and that a process of continuousimprovement is in place. Although there is no magic wand to completely eliminate all of thedocumentation and record keeping, organization and technology can be used to considerablyreduce the time needed for this ongoing self-assessment process. Towards this end, ourdepartment of electrical and computer engineering has created a WEB hosted database system,referred to as ACTS, for ABET Compliance Tracking System. To develop the system, thedepartment faculty first agreed upon the program outcomes for both the electrical engineeringprogram and computer engineering programs. Although these outcomes were originally areorganization of the ABET a-k, based on a recommendation of the ABET accreditation team infall 2006, these outcomes have recently been reformulated directly as ABET a-k, plus someadditional outcomes. Then all required courses in each major were examined to determineaspects of each courses supported which ABET outcomes. From these aspects, performancecriteria were identified for each course. These performance criteria are periodically reviewedby the undergraduate committee, and then the faculty as a whole, to determine if changesshould be made. Within each course, particular exam questions, homework problems and/orlabs (course outcomes) are linked to these performance criteria. At the end of each semester,faculty are asked to enter tabular data about the performance of their students for their courseoutcomes. The tabular data is organized by the percentage of students at various levels ofperformance, ranging from “not meeting the minimum level expected” to “student demonstratesthorough understanding.” The faculty are also expected to enter comments about studentpreparation for the course and suggestions to the undergraduate studies committee for curricularchanges. These password projected entries can be made to ACTS from any computerconnected to the internet. The faculty meet as a group at least once per semester to review theACTS entries, discuss what changes should be made in the curriculum and the performancecriteria themselves. The system is maintained as a database, and periodically backed up.Although ACTS does not completely eliminate the work associated with self assessment, thevery organized method, with convenient access, and convenient methods for organizingsummary data, has made the ABET assessment process considerably easier.

Zahorian, S., & Summerville, D. H., & Craver, S., & Elmore, M. (2011, June), ABET Compliance Tracking System (ACTS) Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17409

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