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Evaluating The Program Educational Objectives At A Small Institution

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Accreditation and Related Issues in ECE

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.594.1 - 10.594.5



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Paper Authors

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Ismail Jouny

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Evaluating the Program Educational Objectives of an Engineering Program at a Small Institution Ismail Jouny Electrical and Computer Engineering Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Abstract This paper focuses on processes and methodologies for evaluating the Program Educational Objectives (PEO) of an engineering program according to ABET2000 Engineering Accreditation criterion. The paper will review existing processes for evaluating PEO’s at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) of Lafayette College. These processes will be compared with those at other institutions. Lessons learned about evaluating the PEO’s at Lafayette’s ECE Department after four years of implementation will be discussed. The goal is to stir up debate about what works and does not work when attempting to evaluate the Educational Objectives of an engineering program at a small institution. Issues such as quality of data, timing, schedules of change, and ABET big-loop concerns will be discussed. Lafayette’s Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) program is a relatively small program with about 20-25 graduates annually. This paper will discuss challenges faced by institutions of Lafayette’s size in achieving a reliable evaluation of the ECE Program Educational Objectives.


Much has been reported about ABET EC2000 criterion for accrediting engineering departments. The criterion entails two levels (or loops) of evaluation, a short-term level for demonstrating that the Program Outcomes are being met, and a long-term level for proving that the Educational Objectives are being achieved. Assessment processes for demonstrating the achievement of the Program Outcomes have been proposed and creatively developed by many experts in engineering, education, psychology, and other disciplines. Although they vary in their degree of success, it is by enlarge, feasible to adopt a well defined set of assessment tools and implement them to satisfy ABET’s concerns. Assessment processes, though often different, are ultimately under the control of the institution, and can be implemented to the fullest as originally intended. Some institutions have even resorted to professional help in assessment processes, and others have assigned one or two faculty members to ensure the implementation of adequate assessment and feedback processes [4,5]. Faculty, staff, and administrators are becoming more comfortable with assessment tools, and getting accustomed to the notion of demonstrating the achievement of their Program Outcomes. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Educational Objectives.

There are some published papers on the subject of Education Objectives that can be used as reference tools for departments trying to evaluate their program, but not to the extent assessment tools are prevalent and successful. Program Educational Objectives (PEO) Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Jouny, I. (2005, June), Evaluating The Program Educational Objectives At A Small Institution Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15489

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