Asee peer logo

Criteria 3 and 5 Implementation: How Are People Actually Doing It?

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Key Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession - and ASCE - Part 2

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Allen C Estes California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

visit author page

Allen C. Estes is a Professor and Head for the Architectural Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Until January 2007, Dr. Estes was the Director of the Civil Engineering Program at the United States Military Academy (USMA). He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. Al Estes received a B.S. degree from USMA in1978, M.S. degrees in Structural Engineering and in Construction Management from Stanford University in 1987 and a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The Criteria 3 and 5 of the ABET General Criteria were recently revised and approved by ABET. This decade-long effort began with the creation of a task force in 2009, the presentation of findings to the Engineering Accreditation Commission in 2014, the first reading by the Area Delegations in 2016 after significant input from constituencies, and ABET approval in 2017. The new criteria are in effect for those programs being evaluated in the current 2019-2020 accreditation cycle.

General Criteria changes occur infrequently and cause significant angst as accredited programs strive to interpret the changes and take steps to meet the new criteria. Papers already exist that describe the extent of the changes and the rationale behind them. ABET has presented webinars, developed a frequently asked question and answer sheet, and created evaluator training materials that attempt to clarify the new changes and the standard for attainment. With the first accreditation cycle under the new criteria underway, this paper examines what programs are doing to meet these new changes.

This paper will share techniques actually used by programs that are under review or have already converted their assessment systems to the new criteria. This paper shares rubrics that are successfully being used by accredited programs. It offers easy methods that can be used to assess the performance of teams, communication with a wider range of audiences, learning new material on your own using appropriate methodologies, ensuring that problems are sufficiently complex, and evaluating how social, economic, cultural, environmental and global consideration can be assessed in a design.

This paper should be useful for any ABET accredited engineering program. The author is a PEV with 20 visits over 20 years, is currently preparing his own program for accreditation, is a member of the ASCE Committee on Accreditation and is an ASCE representative on the ABET Board of Delegates.

COORDINATING NOTE: While this paper would be appropriate for many CE Division sessions, it is intended for the ASCE Liaison Committee’s session(s) for the CE Division of ASEE in 2020. It should be considered for inclusion in the sessions on “Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession and ASCE.”

Estes, A. C. (2020, June), Criteria 3 and 5 Implementation: How Are People Actually Doing It? Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34352

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015