June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.452.1 - 7.452.4
Main Menu Session Number 2513
EC 2000 From Both Sides of the Fence
Steven E. LeBlanc Department of Chemical And Environmental Engineering University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio 43606
I have served as an ABET EC2000 evaluator for three EC2000 visits and was department chair during an EC2000 visit of my own home department in Fall 1999. I have been a faculty member at the University of Toledo long enough that I have experienced four ABET visits during my tenure, two as a faculty member and two as a department chairman (three under the "old" guidelines and one under EC2000). This paper is a discussion of my perspective of the "new" EC2000 guidelines as both a department chair and a program evaluator.
The Old Guidelines vs. The New Guidelines (EC2000)
In many respects, I have the same feelings about EC2000 from both perspectives (or both sides of the fence). The areas that I find difficult to document and provide as paper trail for are the same areas that I find difficult to evaluate in other programs. I realize that the EC2000 guidelines are much less prescriptive than in the past and have less "bean-counting" involved. Many times as a department chair, and sometimes as an evaluator, I find myself longing for the good old bean-counting days. You at least knew what the target was back then, even if it occasionally moved, and you sometimes didn't hit it. The most prevalent controversies, as I recall, seemed to center on the design content of the curriculum. A certain number of engineering science and engineering design hours were required for an accredited program. Documenting sufficient design content was always the sticky part of the accreditation visit… "I think this course is 2.5 hours engineering science and 0.5 hrs engineering design." Design content seemed to be in the eye of the beholder, and was one of the only criteria open to debate. The other criteria were quite prescriptive (x hrs of mathematics and basic science, y hours of humanities and social sciences, etc.). We complained a lot about the criteria back then, and said things like "If we only had a little more flexibility in the curriculum, we could…". Well, perhaps we should have been a bit more careful what we wished for, we now have the flexibility to design the curriculum as we see fit, within broad guidelines, but I'm not sure that we're any happier. I believe we should be happier, however. EC2000 is an effective process for helping improve our curriculum. The paperwork and record keeping can be onerous at times, but ultimately, we will have better, more effective programs for all the effort involved.
Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2002, American Society for Engineering Education
LeBlanc, S. (2002, June), Ec2000 From Both Sides Of The Fence Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10268
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