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Assessment Of Abet Program Criteria For Engineering Curricula

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.95.1 - 4.95.9

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Enno 'Ed' Koehn

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

Session 1421

Assessment of ABET Program Criteria for Engineering Curricula

Enno “Ed” Koehn Lamar University


The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has adopted a revised set of criteria for accrediting engineering programs. Nevertheless, as in the past, civil (construction) engineering departments will be required to demonstrate proficiency in specific subject areas which are included in the ABET program criteria.

This paper investigates, according, in part, to construction related students, the level at which the subjects in the civil engineering program criteria have been considered in a specific curriculum. In particular, the findings suggest that both undergraduate and graduate students believe that 4 areas have been incorporated into the civil (construction) engineering program at a high level. These include: mathematics through calculus and differential equations, structural engineering, major design experience or course, and geotechnical engineering. In addition, 1 area, construction management, has been rated at a high level by graduate students.

I. Introduction

Over the years there have been recommendations from employers and various technical and professional organizations to revise the engineering curriculum to ensure that students are prepared for the professional practice of engineering.5,12 Practicing engineers and educators have also indicated that they are not completely satisfied with the average engineering program.9,10,11

This paper reviews a number of recent recommendations involving engineering education and presents the result of an investigation of the perceptions of a group of undergraduate and graduate students. The data for the study was obtained from a survey instrument which was distributed to students enrolled, in part, in construction related courses taught in civil engineering degree programs. Respondents were requested to indicate whether, and at which level, various subject areas have been incorporated into the curriculum. The subjects chosen are those that have been included in the Civil Engineering and Similarly named Program Criteria that has been adopted by the Accreditation Board for engineering and Technology (ABET) and must be satisfied for a program to be accredited.3 The findings of the investigation could be utilized, for comparative purposes, by other institutions and departments that may wish to study their curriculum.

II. Engineering Curriculum

Recently, engineering educators have indicated that, overall, effective teaching is rated as their highest priority.1,2 Nevertheless, some authorities believe that a faculty member’s role is not to teach but to help students learn.6 In addition, it is believed that educators should assist students

Koehn, E. E. (1999, June), Assessment Of Abet Program Criteria For Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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