June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.892.1 - 14.892.14
Multidisciplinary Engineering Programs and ASEE’S Role as the Lead Society for Their ABET Accreditation
Abstract From an individual ASEE member’s initiative beginning back in fall 2000 and subsequent significant events, the ABET Board of Directors approved in June 2005 the proposal by the ASEE Board of Directors that ASEE be named the lead society for the accreditation review of “multidisciplinary” engineering programs. This new role is administered by the ASEE Accreditation Activities Committee under the authority of the ASEE Board of Directors. The accreditation assignment has been defined by ABET to mean those programs with names of Engineering, Engineering Physics, Engineering Science and General Engineering (plus a few minor variations).
Following a brief overview of the background history, this paper presents a current report of that development and features information about the numbers and trends of the accredited multidisciplinary engineering programs and the variety of institutions that host them. The paper includes extensive information in text and tables, as of the current 2008-09 cycle, about:
1) the ASEE organizational structure that has been developed to administer this new responsibility, 2) the experiences of the first three years of program evaluator visits, 3) the institutions with ABET EAC-accredited multidisciplinary engineering programs, 4) the number and names of the multidisciplinary engineering program(s) at each institution, 5) the ABET EAC accreditation history of these programs, 6) a look ahead at the projected future evaluator workload, and 7) other issues related to this new accreditation role and to recent changes in the process.
Introduction One of the significant distinctions of a substantial number of baccalaureate engineering programs is that they intentionally do not align naturally with a currently so-called “traditional discipline” (such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.). Such programs were previously called “non-traditional” engineering programs, or, more recently, “multidisciplinary” engineering programs. In the context of this paper, they include programs called engineering, general engineering, engineering science, engineering physics, and a few other similar (non-disciplinary) program titles. At this writing, there are 67 accredited engineering programs at 66 different institutions that are classified by ABET in this multidisciplinary category.
Extensive information about some of the typical characteristics of multidisciplinary engineering programs is available elsewhere.1,2,3 For example, one study2 suggested a classification of engineering (including general engineering) and engineering science programs that sought to identify and distinguish the institutional purposes for these programs as one of three purposes:
Farison, J., & Yang, Z. (2009, June), Multidisciplinary Engineering Programs And Asee's Role As The Lead Society For Their Abet Accreditation Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4662
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