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Comparison of AUN-QA and ABET Accreditation

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 8

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Scott Danielson Arizona State University

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Dr. Scott Danielson is a faculty member in the engineering programs within the Polytechnic School of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). Before returning to the faculty, Dr. Danielson was an Associate Dean for almost four years in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the College of Technology and Innovation. Before assuming the Associate Dean’s role, he had been a department chair at ASU for over 13 years.

He also serves as the project director for the USAID-funded Vocational University Leadership Innovation Institute (VULII), a Vietnamese engineering education and academic leadership development program. In this role, he and the VULII team have led or coordinated numerous workshops in Vietnam to help eight institutions and their leaders improve engineering education programs. Related activities have included helping engineering programs prepare for international accreditation/recognition and professional development activities for rectors and senior leadership.

He has been active in the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) in the Mechanics Division and the Engineering Technology Division, currently the Chair of the Engineering Technology Division. He serves on the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME) Manufacturing Education and Research Community steering committee. He is active in the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME); serving as a member of the Vision 2030 Task Force, serving on the Committee on Engineering Technology Accreditation in a variety of roles, serving on the Board of Directors of the ASME Center for Education for several years, and as a member of the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Head Committee. He has been awarded the ASME Ben C. Sparks Medal in 2009 and 2013 for excellence in mechanical engineering education.

Within ABET, he has been an ABET program evaluator for both the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and ASME, served on the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of ABET for five years, and currently is on the ETAC Executive Committee.

His research interests include engineering education, machining, and effective teaching, especially of engineering mechanics. Before joining ASU, he was at North Dakota State University, where he was a faculty member in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering department after leading the development of a new academic program that merged with the Industrial Engineering Department. Before coming to academia, he was a design engineer, maintenance supervisor, and plant engineer. He is a registered professional engineer.

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Huong Huu Diem Nguyen Arizona State University

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Huong is the Quality Assurance Coordinator for Arizona State University’s Representative Office in Viet Nam. In this position, she provides technical expertise and assists with a variety of Higher Education quality initiatives in Vietnam. These initiatives include Vocational University Leadership Innovation Institute (VULII), Building University-Industry Learning and Development Through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) and Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP). She also acts as a resource to various Vietnamese institutional quality assurance teams as they work to improve their quality assurance processes, implement continuous improvement systems and seek international recognition and accreditation – including ASEAN’s AUN-QA and U.S.-based accreditation.

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Kathy Denise Wigal Arizona State University

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Dr. Kathy Wigal currently serves as Associate Director of Curricular Innovation, Global Outreach and Extended Education, as part of a team facilitating the development and management of international partnerships with academic instituions, governments, and corporations. Models include USA based accelerated degree models for corporations; international joint delivery programs; curricular partnerships including international accelerated degree programs; and global development models for higher education quality reform. Dr. Wigal’s background incorporates several key perspectives including over 15 years of college and university classroom teaching experience, and a combination of 20 years of central and department level administrative experience.

She leads assessment and quality assurance for the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP), focused on modernization and transformation of teaching and learning in undergraduate engineering programs in Vietnam and the companion project, the Vocational University Leadership and Innovation Institute (VULII), which emphasizes development of academic leadership, continuous program improvement, and accreditation. She has developed and implemented ASU campus-based and in-country workshops in Vietnam and Indonesia, including instructional pedagogy for using teaming, active and project based learning, leadership development for academic leadership, quality assurance and assessment training, as well as coaching strategies to facilitate the incorporation of assessment and evaluation, and continuous program improvement into the fabric, culture and practice of the partner institutions.

Her experience includes development of partnership agreements between community colleges, universities and tribal colleges. She has facilitated articulation and faculty collaboration statewide spanning over 40 disciplines, authored training materials, and mentored new participants. She served as one of the founding faculty of Coconino Community College, building an academic organization from the ground up, including development of institutional policy, organizational structure, curriculum and assessment, and establishing community and institutional relationships. She served as co-chair, editor, and contributing author of the self study for accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.

Dr. Kathy Wigal holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D), a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), and a Masters in Community College Education (M.Ed) from Northern Arizona University. She has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in educational administration and educational pedagogy, as well as courses in accounting and business administration.

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic organization of ten Southeast Asian countries. Within that organization, the ASEAN University Network (AUN) works towards educational capacity building by conducting various programs and activities for institutions of higher education/learning, with a stated intent of working to achieve global standards. One primary mechanism is the Quality Assurance activity, usually referred to as AUN-QA. AUN-QA has worked to develop a regional style accreditation system, with significant influence via Europeans, and a number of countries within the ASEAN now have institutions with programs accredited by AUN-QA.

This paper will outline the similarities and differences of ASEAN University Network accreditation (AUN-QA)and ABET accreditation. Attendees will gain an understanding of the philosophical differences of ABET and AUN-QA accreditation and identify the similarities and differences between ABET's assessment and evaluation requirements and the AUN-QA model for program accreditation.

Discussion the similarities and differences of AUN-QA accreditation and ABET accreditation from both a philosophical viewpoint and a pragmatic viewpoint is both interesting and instructive. ABET’s approach is significantly different from that of AUN-QA’s approach and the comparison of the two leads to considerations about the purpose of accreditation, perceived difficulties of attaining it and the perceived value of attaining such accreditations. It becomes evident that the two approaches are not duplicative and one or the other, or both, may be useful to a program within in the ASEAN.

Danielson, S., & Nguyen, H. H. D., & Wigal, K. D. (2016, June), Comparison of AUN-QA and ABET Accreditation Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26531

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