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Engineering Criteria 2000 Challenges For Large Programs

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.241.1 - 3.241.9

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Paper Authors

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William E. Sayle

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Joseph L. A. Hughes

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

Session 3232

Engineering Criteria 2000 Challenges for Large Programs

Joseph L. A. Hughes and William E. Sayle School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology

In 1997 Georgia Institute of Technology, with ten undergraduate programs and one graduate program accredited by EAC/ABET, participated as one of five pilot evaluations under Engineering Criteria 2000. Each of the institutions selected for pilot visits has unique attributes which must be addressed within the context of the new criteria. Georgia Tech is a publicly- supported, highly-ranked research university, with over 5000 undergraduates and 2000 graduate students in the College of Engineering.

The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is the largest unit within the College of Engineering, with approximately 1,600 students in two accredited undergraduate programs, electrical engineering and computer engineering, plus approximately 700 graduate students. Approximately 50% of the undergraduates participate in the co-operative education program. The 85 faculty members span 10 major technical fields within electrical and computer engineering. Students may select from over 60 senior electives and the EE program allows students to satisfy their major design experience in any of 13 different areas of specialization, many of which include multiple course options. Large, flexible degree programs such as these face several challenges in satisfying Engineering Criteria 2000, particularly in demonstrating that all graduates achieve the specific outcomes required by the general and program criteria.

This paper provides a summary of our preparations for the 1997 pilot visit, focusing on the development of program objectives and outcomes and the implementation of assessment efforts. Based on our experiences, several “lessons learned” and unresolved issues are identified, with an emphasis on the challenges for large programs and universities.

Engineering Criteria 2000

Engineering Criteria 2000 (EC2000) incorporates several major changes in the accreditation model, as compared to the current Engineering Topics Criteria. Philosophically, EC2000 is based on three key principles: x individual institutions and programs should define their mission and objectives based on the needs of their specific constituencies, x programs should be evaluated against specific outcomes, derived from the program’s objectives, which demonstrate that students are prepared for professional practice, and x programs must have a functioning process for defining objectives and outcomes, assessing results, and using the data for continuous improvement of the program and process.

Much of the attention associated with the introduction of EC2000 has focused on the use of outcomes assessment for demonstrating program success. This change primarily affects the

Sayle, W. E., & Hughes, J. L. A. (1998, June), Engineering Criteria 2000 Challenges For Large Programs Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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