June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.194.1 - 15.194.15
ASEE’s Role in Accreditation Review of ABET EAC Programs in Engineering, Engineering Phys., and Engineering Sci. (et al.): A Brief History, the Current Status, and a Look Ahead
While not as numerous as Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and other “common” engineering baccalaureate programs, there is a surprising number of engineering programs with a “more general” program title. And, while some might assume that these “more general” programs would largely be offered only by smaller, primarily private institutions, there are a considerable number of major state (and private) institutions that also offer these programs.
This paper presents a brief history and a more detailed look at the current status of the set of programs that the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) now lists under the program heading of “Engineering, Engineering Physics, and Engineering Science” plus a few additional programs with similar names or with other variations outside of ABET’s standard set of program titles that ABET has assigned to ASEE. This set of programs has been assigned to ASEE for purposes of providing program evaluators (PEVs) for accreditation visits.
Further, this paper provides a look ahead at the prospective accreditation review load for ASEE PEVs. This information is important in helping to estimate the number of ASEE PEV assignments that will be needed over the next several years. Perhaps surprisingly, that number is not easily estimated ahead, as only the years for the next scheduled general review (NGR) of programs already accredited can be determined from the ABET public website. Several other variables that lead to the final number can only be estimated. Nonetheless, a “forecast” is important for the planning of ASEE’s PEV workload and therefore the anticipated number of ASEE PEVs needed each year. Further, the roster of multidisciplinary engineering programs itself is an important source of information about this set of engineering degree programs and the institutions that provide them.
One of the significant distinctions of a substantial number of baccalaureate engineering programs is that they intentionally do not align naturally with the currently established major disciplines like civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc. Such programs were previously called “non-traditional” engineering programs, but, more recently, “multidisciplinary” engineering programs. Currently, ABET labels this set as “Engineering, Engineering Physics, & Engineering Science.” The set includes programs called engineering, general engineering, engineering science, engineering physics, and a few other similar (non-disciplinary) program titles.
Interestingly, the first “official” accreditation of engineering programs began in 1936 through the Engineers Council for Professional Development (ECPD), the forerunner of ABET. Four of the initial set of accredited engineering programs are still functioning. Many others have been added,
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