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Assessment Process: A View From The Trenches

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Assessment of Engineering Technology Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.239.1 - 13.239.10



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Paper Authors


Carol Lamb Youngstown State University

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Carol M. Lamb, is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Design and Drafting Technology Program at Youngstown State University. She has over 10 years of professional experience in design and drafting of structures. She teaches variety of courses in structural design, construction methods/materials, drafting, and introductory engineering technology.

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David Kurtanich

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David G. Kurtanich, P.E. is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the
Civil and Construction Engineering Technology Program at Youngstown
State University 44555, USA. He has over 27 years of professional
experience in design, analysis and investigation of structures. He
teaches a variety of courses in structural analysis and design,
hydraulics and land development, computer applications in engineering
technology, and capstone design.

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



This paper presents some of the hurdles that the engineering technology programs at Youngstown State University struggled with during the reaccreditation process and are still refining. With less formal direction from TAC-ABET as to what they are focusing on or require for accreditation, it took several iterations along with networking with other institutions to gather insight and suggestions just to begin to understand the depth and breadth of the assessment process and its impact on department resources. Starting at the beginning of the process and continuing through the revisions and the ongoing refinement. The topics discussed include; what to assess and how to assess the criteria identified; development of the assessment rubrics; decisions on how to collect the data; restructuring courses to cover topics that need to be assessed; revising the rubrics and data collection to gather meaningful data; and development of a sustainable internal assessment process. Issues generated from the managing of the ongoing assessment efforts on workload and strategies for developing a sustainable assessment and evaluation process for a multi-program engineering technology department are considered.


A multi-program engineering technology department completed the TAC-ABET reaccreditation process during the 2005-2006 cycle. These engineering technology programs offer both associate and baccalaureate level degrees in civil and construction engineering technology, electrical engineering technology, and mechanical engineering technology. This was the first re-accreditation for these programs under the new evaluation process that focused on assessment of the results rather than verification of the curriculum to meet specified criteria.

This paper looks at several aspects of the impact that the ABET assessment and evaluation process has on faculty motivation, workload and department resources. With over 460 students (full and non-traditional part time) enrolled in the programs and only eight full time faculty members and one department staff member, the challenges to manage ongoing assessment efforts while maintaining program curriculums and departmental operations are time- consuming and place additional pressure on limited resources.

Discussion – reaccreditation process

During the 2005-2006 academic year the engineering technology department at Youngstown State University encountered the new TC-2K TAC-ABET reaccreditation process. The engineering technology department had been through the reaccreditation process before; based on the old criteria in which you collected student work and the evaluation team looked at a snapshot in time of the programs 5. However, we knew that this reaccreditation process would be different.

The initial stages of preparation for the 2005-2006 TAC-ABET visit was very similar to previous reaccreditation visits. Student material, notebooks, homework, projects, and various other materials, were gathered and displayed for the evaluation team. The department did have a

Lamb, C., & Kurtanich, D. (2008, June), Assessment Process: A View From The Trenches Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3435

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