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Keeping The Flame Alive: What Happens After The Abet Visit

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Assessment in EM Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.778.1 - 7.778.12



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Paper Authors

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Sami Ainane

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Janet Schmidt

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Gary Pertmer

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

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Session No. 2002-189

Keeping the Flame Alive: What Happens AFTER the ABET visit

Dr. Sami Ainane, Dr. Gary Pertmer, Dr. Janet A. Schmidt

The Clark School of Engineering University of Maryland College Park

I. Introduction

In the United States, engineering programs are accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. The Board is made of representatives from each of the various professional societies such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, etc. Over the past ten years, ABET has developed a new and comprehensive program to accredit undergraduate engineering programs. The Clark School of Engineering elected to go through their most recent accreditation visit under the new ABET criteria in 1998….the first year the new criteria was in place. One critical difference between the old and the new accreditation process is the focus on outcomes. Prior ABET attention had been directed towards input: what instructors provided students in the classroom, etc. The new focus is on what students have learned as a result of the instructors’ input…or learning outcomes. Specifically, ABET identified eleven learning outcomes (see below) as well as mandating that “on- going” evidence be required that engineering students were achieving these outcomes.

Variously described as “a-k”, learning outcomes, criteria 3, to name a few, the actual eleven outcomes are striking in their appropriateness and relevance to what engineering education should produce in the well qualified engineering professional. Of these, most engineering faculty would assume that the completion of the usual undergraduate curriculum would accomplish: “the ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering; the ability to design and conduct experiments analyze and interpret data; design a system, component or process to meet desired needs” as well as the “ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.” The more radical advance of ABET is the inclusion of the following as important outcomes of an engineering education:

“the ability to function on a multidisciplinary team” “the ability to communicate effectively” “an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility” “the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal contest” “a recognition of the need for an ability to engage in life-long learning” “knowledge of contemporary issues”

Proceedings of the 2002 American society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Ainane, S., & Schmidt, J., & Pertmer, G. (2002, June), Keeping The Flame Alive: What Happens After The Abet Visit Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10580

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