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First Time Accreditation Of A Small, Multidisciplinary Engineering Physics Program

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Programmatic Issues in Engineering Physics

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

12.747.1 - 12.747.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1900

Download Count

50

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Paper Authors

biography

Denise Martinez Tarleton State University

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Dr. Denise Martinez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Engineering at Tarleton State University. Her research interests include K12 Outreach and Engineering Education Techniques and Assessment as well as Control Systems and Signal Processing. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2001 and is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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

First Time Accreditation of a Multi-disciplinary Engineering Physics Program

Abstract

In 2006, Tarleton State University successfully achieved ABET accreditation of Engineering Physics, its first engineering program. This Engineering Physics program is a multidisciplinary engineering program with emphases in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and materials physics. Several challenges above and beyond the proof of continuous improvement in Criteria 1-8 had to be overcome to accomplish this accreditation. Tarleton State is a traditionally liberal arts school and serves a predominantly rural area with only a few local engineering industries. Also, the program name, Engineering Physics, is not widely understood by college seekers and even industry recruiters, because these programs often have different foci at different places. Thus, the challenge was to build a quality program that measured up to ABET standards subject to these constraints. The success of the effort lay in the development and implementation of procedures used to address each of the criteria and extensive involvement of an industry advisory board. The author of this paper was the coordinator of this accreditation effort and this paper provides an overview of the structure and process used by this group to address the challenges of a successful accreditation effort.

Introduction Tarleton State University, part of the Texas A&M University System, began implementing its first engineering program, Engineering Physics, in 2000 with the stipulation that it become ABET accredited by 2006. This Engineering Physics program is a multidisciplinary engineering program with emphases in electrical engineering, computer engineering, and materials physics. Tarleton is a medium-sized, traditionally liberal arts university that serves a predominantly rural area with only a few local engineering industries. Tarleton historically offered calculus, calculus-based physics, and lower level engineering courses prior to 2000, but students were required to transfer to complete an engineering degree. Furthermore, it is not, to this day, widely understood what an Engineering Physics program is. The challenge was to implement a quality educational program subject to the constraints of being a rural university and lack of name recognition. The key to the success of the accreditation effort was to create a process that demonstrated compliance with ABET criteria while also targeting the constraints of the problem. A team of faculty, called the Engineering Physics Oversight Committee (EPOC) was established to develop and implement the process. A management plan was also developed describing the division of responsibility amongst the team as well as the implementation of an external advisory board. Training It was very important to attend sessions and review literature related to ABET accreditation. The ABET workshops1 and Institutional Representatives Day2 were extremely useful in establishing terminology and exchanging ideas about assessment techniques. The author attended ABET sponsored workshops, attended sessions at ASEE and FIE Conferences, and reviewed relevant

Martinez, D. (2007, June), First Time Accreditation Of A Small, Multidisciplinary Engineering Physics Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1900

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