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Maximizing The Benefit Of Developing An Educational Plan To Meet The Abet 2000 Criteria

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.379.1 - 4.379.10

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Paper Authors

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W.V. Wilding

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W.C. Hecker

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J.N. Harb

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Ronald E. Terry

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

Session 3431

Maximizing the Benefit of Developing an Educational Plan to Meet the ABET 2000 Criteria

W.V. Wilding, J.N. Harb, R.E. Terry, W.C. Hecker Department of Chemical Engineering Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 84602


This paper documents our experience with the development of an educational plan designed to satisfy the requirements of ABET 2000. The paper first presents the overall structure of the plan which includes both a process loop and a product loop, with assessment and feedback at multiple levels. Our progress on the initial pass through the process loop is then described. This description begins with a procedure developed and used for definition of learning outcomes in the form of attributes and competencies. Also documented are the methods used for successfully promoting faculty involvement in and ownership for the process. Mastery levels have been defined in order to quantify the relative importance of individual competencies. Based on these levels, a core set of outcomes targeted for mastery by all graduating students was identified. These core outcomes will impact the structure of our curriculum and influence instruction and evaluation at all levels.


ABET 2000 provides an excellent opportunity to improve engineering education by focusing on the product (student attributes) rather than the process (teaching). Although the formality of outcomes-based education may be unfamiliar to some, the fundamental ideas are not new, and are routinely incorporated into our day-to-day efforts to improve student learning. ABET 2000 provides the formal context needed for broad application of these ideas and, of course, the driving force needed to facilitate change.

At issue, then, is how we will respond to this opportunity. On one hand ABET 2000 may be viewed as an unpleasant and perhaps unnecessary task that must be accomplished to achieve accreditation. Alternatively, it may be viewed as a catalyst for making significant improvements to engineering education. It is our opinion that the second outlook is essential in order to maximize the benefits of implementing ABET 2000. Otherwise, it is unlikely that the full benefits will be achieved.

Our experience has shown that the approach used to implement an educational plan consistent with the ABET 2000 criteria has a significant impact on the attitude of the faculty towards the process. Based on this experience, we have developed an approach to maximize faculty interest in and ownership for the process in our department. The purpose of this paper is to share our approach and to discuss some of the results and benefits that we have observed to date.

Wilding, W., & Hecker, W., & Harb, J., & Terry, R. E. (1999, June), Maximizing The Benefit Of Developing An Educational Plan To Meet The Abet 2000 Criteria Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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