June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.334.1 - 15.334.14
The Creation of the Greater Caribbean Region Engineering Accreditation System
This paper describes the creation of a new Engineering program accreditation system for the Central America and Caribbean Region, called the Greater Caribbean Regional Engineering Accreditation System (GCREAS)1. This initiative was funded by the Inter American Development Bank through the efforts of the Engineering for the Americas (EftA) initiative2, uniting representatives from international organizations, government agencies, professional organizations, accreditation bodies, universities and industries, and endorsed by the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Lima Declaration of 20043. The outcomes of the first phase4 of the GCREAS project are described, including a summary of an extensive comparative analysis conducted of different accreditation systems around the world, advances in creating and approving the standards, governance and operations. Quantitative data from the feasibility study are presented to help determine whether there is a critical mass to enable the implementation of a sustainable GCREAS system and to help scope the efforts to be undertaken within the framework of this project, aimed at building a model of engineering accreditation for the area.
Engineering for the Americas (EftA)2 started as a grass roots initiative uniting engineering education organizations, government agencies, professional organization, accreditation agencies, universities and industries, endorsed by the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Lima Declaration of 20043. EftA is headquartered at the Organization of American States in Washington DC, USA. In 2004, in its Science, Technology, engineering and Innovation for Development: A vision for the Americas in the Twenty First Century5, the OAS cited several times the usefulness of regional accreditation for the mobility of students. The OAS held the first Engineering for the Americas Symposium in Lima 2005, there was a call from the Caribbean delegation for a regional accreditation system for the Caribbean region. This region with its isolated islands, multiple languages and educational system based on the U.S., Spanish, French, British, and Deutsch systems, posed a particular challenge. EftA first initiative was to fund, together with industry, a consultant to write a grant proposal to the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) to fund the effort, which was expanded to the Greater Caribbean Region Engineering Accreditation System (GCREAS)1 to include Central America. The IDB funded the GCREAS proposal, as well as another for the creation of ACAAI (in English, the Central American Architecture and Engineering Accreditation Agency)6. ACAAI serves Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, which all speak Spanish and who opted to follow the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board standards. The GCREAS base study analyzed the feasibility of implementing a sustainable GCREAS system.
The GCREAS Base Study
A consultant conducted a base study to compare and contrast Engineering degree accreditation systems and models, and to propose a model and characteristics for the GCREAS operation and
Pirela, H., & Coto Quintana, G., & Crespo Marino, J. L., & Larrondo Petrie, M. M., & Escala, M. J., & Gephardt, Z. O. (2010, June), Creation Of A Greater Caribbean Regional Engineering Accreditation System Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16933
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