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Ec 2000 Criterion 2: A Procedure For Creating, Assessing, And Documenting Program Educational Objectives

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.400.1 - 6.400.11



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Paper Authors

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Michael Carter

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Sarah Rajala

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

Session 3530

EC2000 Criterion 2: A Procedure for Creating, Assessing, and Documenting Program Educational Objectives

Michael Carter, Rebecca Brent, Sarah Rajala North Carolina State University


Criterion 2 [Program Educational Objectives (PEO)] is arguably the most important part of ABET EC2000. PEO embody the broad vision for an engineering program that drives the overall accreditation process. They also provide a crucial nexus point for the assessment of each program, the point at which the programmatic issues of the other EC2000 criteria—curriculum, faculty, facilities, etc.—are considered within the larger context of the needs of key constituencies of the program and the mission of the institution. Criterion 2 plays an essential role in EC2000's goal of encouraging continuous improvement in engineering programs and of providing the opportunity for people involved in those programs to define what continuous improvement means for their own programs.

Despite this crucial role, very little attention has been paid to Criterion 2 in the engineering literature. For example, in the ASEE Conference Proceedings from 1998-2000, only four papers addressed Criterion 2 in any detail, and in each of those the treatment was a brief part of a consideration of all EC2000 criteria, inadequate to provide meaningful guidance to programs trying to manage Criterion 2. In contrast, 52 articles dealt with some aspect of Criterion 3 (Outcomes a-k).

The lack of attention given to Criterion 2 can be explained in several ways. One is that engineering faculty are much more comfortable dealing with the familiar issues of faculty, facilities, and financing than with institutional mission and needs of program constituencies. But perhaps a more telling reason is that Criterion 2 is by far the least concrete of the EC2000 criteria. Unlike Criterion 3, for example, which provides a structure by detailing curricular requirements in Outcomes a-k, Criterion 2 provides little in the way of concrete guidelines for what should be included in the PEO, nor for the processes of generating and assessing them.

Instead of discouraging conversation about Criterion 2 in the engineering literature, its lack of concreteness ought to be the impetus for that conversation. In this paper, we describe a two-part procedure for operationally defining Criterion 2, a procedure we have developed and used as a guide for diverse engineering programs within North Carolina State University College of Engineering. Our goal is to provide these programs a set of guidelines for generating and assessing their PEO and for creating the associated documents they must present to ABET evaluators. We will discuss the procedure first and then show how it has been applied to three

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Carter, M., & Rajala, S. (2001, June), Ec 2000 Criterion 2: A Procedure For Creating, Assessing, And Documenting Program Educational Objectives Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9153

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