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An Engineering Education Capability Maturity Model

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Global Engineering in an Interconnected World

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.182.1 - 11.182.13



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Paper Authors

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Maria M. Larrondo Petrie

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

An Engineering Education Capability Maturity Model

Abstract With the stress of producing a Global Engineer and the creation of International Registry of Engineers, the importance of international recognition of Engineering degrees through accreditation is increasing. Many countries and whole regions are lagging behind adopting an engineering program accreditation system, and have found the expense of undergoing ABET or CEAB Substantial Equivalency prohibitive. At the Organization of American States’s Engineering for the Americas Symposium, the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) proposed an assessment model that provides a five-level evaluation that could lead to accreditation. This paper describes the model, which applies a multi-level, model-based process improvement model widely used in the software systems engineering, called the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), to Engineering Education. Model- based process improvement uses a model to guide the improvement of an organization’s processes and aims to increase the capability of work processes. Process capability is the inherent ability of a process to produce planned results. This paper presents an overview of the CMM and proposes three CMM-based models for improving the process capability of the engineering institution, the engineering faculty and the engineering student. Feedback is sought refining this multi-level engineering program assessment instrument to move engineering programs in regions lacking an engineering accreditation system toward program accreditation or substantial equivalence.


In order to compete in the world economy, nations need to produce Global Engineers, who can practice across boundaries. The European Union has strengthened the economy of its member nations by achieving agreement and unity in standardizing monies, trade and education. China is fast improving its economy and competitiveness in the world market, again through unity. If the Americas are to remain competitive, Latin America, the Caribbean, the U.S.A. and Canada must join their education efforts and form a recognized standard for engineering and technology programs. Having such a standard would allow engineering institutions to form a consortium to offer or accept courses originating from recognized institutions, and create Dual Degree Masters that address the needs of the area and give it a competitive edge. The Americas need a standard to permit an engineer to practice across national frontiers, and strengthen the economy of the Americas. A first step toward achieving unity in the Americas for recognizing engineers, is moving towards a mechanism for assessment and recognition of engineering institutions.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc1 (ABET) is the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in engineering, technology, computing and applied science in the United States. ABET is a federation of 31 professional and technical societies from these fields. About 2,500 programs in over 550 colleges and universities in the United States are accredited. ABET also offers educational credentials evaluation to those educated outside the U.S. and provides certification of equivalence to ABET accredited programs to international institutions of higher education. This evaluation results in accreditation or no accreditation, with comments on commendations, deficiencies, weaknesses, and concerns.

Larrondo Petrie, M. M. (2006, June), An Engineering Education Capability Maturity Model Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1285

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