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Accrediting a Program in Engineering Technology

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

ETAC/ABET Related Issues

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.142.1 - 26.142.11



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Paper Authors


Richard Cliver Rochester Institute of Technology (CAST)

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Richard C. Cliver is an Associate Professor in the department of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering Technology at RIT where he teaches a wide variety of courses both analog and digital, from the freshman to senior level. Richard also works for the Eastman Kodak Company as a Senior Design Engineer. Richard has received two teaching awards while at RIT. He was the recipient of the 1998 Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award and the recipient of the 2002 Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Richard is a contributing volunteer in both ABET and IEEE.

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One of the most daunting events a college faces is its program’s accreditation visit from ABET. An accreditation visit in the best case occurs every six years. This paper will demystify the requirements set forth by ABET. To do this, the paper will explain each of the criteria suggesting what a program evaluator will be looking for. Best practices will be provided that make ABET preparation efficient and beneficial to the program and its faculty. ABET’s goal is to insure quality and help program make improvements. The paper will conclude with best practice ideas for display materials and a description of a typical visit. The author has been a Senior Design Engineer at Eastman Kodak for 25 years and an active volunteer in both IEEE and ABET. During his seven years on IEEE’s Commission for Engineering Technology Accreditation Activities (CETAA) the author has helped write new program specific criteria for several technology programs. As an ABET commissioner of five years he has helped move these changes into the current criteria. As an ABET volunteer the author evaluated over 20 programs. The author is also an Associate Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology where he is the department’s associate responsible for accreditation activities. The author has developed tools in Access, Excel and Word that automate data collection and evaluation, as well as self‐study materials, that increase faculty efficiency and program effectiveness. This paper will discuss the processes and procedures that must to be carefully developed during the six years between visits in order to maximize benefit and minimize effort. Preparation for the visit can be complicated by misconceptions. This paper will address common questions, frequent mistakes and definitions for confusing terms often encountering during preparation for an ABET visit.  One of the most common misconceptions occurs when a program receives their accreditation planning packet. This packet includes the: Accreditation Policy and Procedure Manual, Accreditation Criteria and Self‐Study Questionnaire. The packet may look daunting to a program coordinator but the fact is the relevant criteria for your particular program is only about 3 pages long. The paper will provide a simple guide to reading the criteria and understanding its requirements. The best practices provided will help programs to benefit from the work they do while seeking accreditation. This paper will offer simple guidelines to the requirements set forth by ABET as well explaining the criteria the program evaluators will be looking for. Best practices leveraged from multiple universities will be introduced to help programs not only benefit from their accreditation but also improve their program through the continuous improvement methods provided in this paper. 

Cliver, R. (2015, June), Accrediting a Program in Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23481

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