Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.251.1 - 4.251.8
Experience with an EC2000 Visit: a view from Michigan Tech’s Electrical Engineering Department
Leonard J. Bohmann, Warren F. Perger, and Robert H. Bohnsack Michigan Technological University
It all started on March 11, 1997. The new Dean of Engineering, Bob Warrington, was attending our faculty meeting. In addition to announcing that we had hired a new Dept. Chair, he was promoting the idea that the College of Engineering should be evaluated under the new ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 (EC2000). The Dean had just joined the college the last December. He was an experienced ABET evaluator (the next fall he would be an evaluator for Georgia Tech’s pilot EC2000 visit) and could see the advantages of becoming accredited under the new criteria. Our self-study year was to be the 1997-98 academic year and the College needed to apply to ABET to be evaluated under the new criteria by May 1, 1997.
From our department’s perspective, the College was in a good position to be evaluated under EC 2000. We had an up-to-date curriculum. We were in the middle of the conversion to a new curriculum, with the first graduates under the new program being in the 1997-98 academic year. We also had an ongoing assessment program. The University was in the middle of the self-study year for the North Central Association (NCA), our regional accreditation agency. Since our last regional accreditation ten years ago, the NCA had embraced a continuous improvement philosophy, and our department was in the process of implementing an assessment plan developed over the past year and a half.
From our perspective it would be easy. We would be able to make small adjustments to our assessment plan developed for the NCA, collect our program information, and sail through the accreditation process with a N.G.R. (next general review).
It turned out to be a much bigger problem than we had initially thought. There are many differences between what NCA wanted and what ABET required. In the assessment programs that the University developed for NCA, the departments were primarily concerned with what students were learning within the given department. For ABET, we needed to look at the whole degree program, both the courses within the major and those in other departments. In addition, ABET had predefined outcomes of the program, whereas for NCA we used self-defined goals and outcomes. Probably the biggest difficulty was that the assessment program we developed for the NCA evaluation was not ingrained within the department. If we were to succeed with the ABET evaluation, this had to change.
Perger, W., & Bohmann, L. J., & Bohnsack, B. (1999, June), Experience With An Ec2000 Visit: A View From Michigan Tech's Electrical Engineering Department Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/7657
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