June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.259.1 - 12.259.14
ASEE’S New Role as the Lead Society for ABET Accreditation Review of Multidisciplinary Engineering Programs: An Update and a Look Ahead
As the result of the ABET Board of Directors action in spring 2005, ASEE is now the lead society for the accreditation evaluation of multidisciplinary engineering programs for accreditation visits that began in the fall of 2006. In this context, the terminology “multidisciplinary engineering programs” is defined as the set of engineering programs with one of the following program titles (with a few slight variations): Engineering (including General Engineering), Engineering Physics, and Engineering Science(s). This paper presents information about ASEE’s new role, including the related activities of its Accreditation Activities Committee, the recruiting and training of prospective program evaluators and their participation in the actual accreditation process, some perspective from the first year of actual visits, and other information about the near future. Also included is information about the 67 multidisciplinary engineering programs at 65 institutions that are currently accredited by ABET and now assigned to ASEE for program review.
One of the significant distinctions of a substantial number of engineering programs is that they intentionally do not align naturally with any “traditional discipline” (such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.). Such programs have been called “non- traditional” or, more recently, “multidisciplinary” engineering programs. In the context of this paper, they include programs called engineering, general engineering, engineering science, engineering physics, and a few other similar program titles. At this writing, there are 67 accredited engineering programs that are classified in this category by ABET.
Extensive information about some of the typical characteristics of multidisciplinary engineering programs is available elsewhere.1,2,3 For example, one study2 suggested a classification of engineering (including general engineering) and engineering science programs that sought to identify and distinguish the institutional purposes for these programs as one of three purposes: “philosophical,” “flexible,” or “instrumental.” One thing these programs clearly were not was “disciplinary,” as used here.
Multidisciplinary Engineering Programs and Their Accreditation
A unique characteristic of these multidisciplinary engineering programs has been that they do not have the additional “program criteria” for accreditation that the “traditional” programs and most others do. Indeed, the novelty, variety, and interdisciplinary nature of these “multidisciplinary” programs would not easily accommodate the type of additional program criteria that the traditional programs have.
Farison, J., & Li Shen, C. (2007, June), Asee’s New Role As The Lead Society For Abet Accreditation Review Of Multidisciplinary Engineering Programs: An Update And A Look Ahead Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1772
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