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Outcome Assessment And Accreditation

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Assessment Methods

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.977.1 - 11.977.10



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Paper Authors


Richard Boser Illinois State University

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Dr. Richard Boser is a Professor and Coordinator of the Construction Management program at Illinois State University. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1991. He has been responsible for managing the department assessment plan for over 10 years and serves in various capacities with accreditation agencies. Regular teaching responsibilities include courses in project management, construction management, and construction materials and methods.

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Kenneth Stier Illinois State University

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Dr. Ken Stier is a professor and Coordinator of the Integrated Manufacturing Systems Program at Illinois State University. He received his Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction and has been responsible for coordinating the assessment plan for the Manufacturing Systems Program for the last three years. He has served in various capacities on six accreditation site visits. Regular teaching responsibilities include courses in manufacturing processes, materials technology, and manufacturing organization and management.

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

Outcome Assessment and Accreditation


The ideas presented in this paper are designed to assist faculty in technical areas accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to develop an effective assessment program. This paper focuses on common means of assessment that can be used as essential elements for continuous improvement of curriculum to meet accreditation standards. Advantages and disadvantages of these methods are presented to allow readers to determine which methods are most appropriate for their situation. The authors also provide their own experiences with many of these assessment methods. The paper concludes with a summary and lessons learned.


Program assessment, quality assurance, and continuous improvement have become essential elements of the accreditation process. National higher education associations, such as The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, mandate ongoing evaluation and assessment as a “core component” of the institution.1 The Commission further noted the “need to create a culture of evidence2” based on quality improvement principles to drive institutional assessment.

Some institutions still struggle when it comes to meeting the assessment standards even after years of effort by regional and programmatic accrediting agencies to improve the assessment process3. Assessment measures should correspond as closely as possible to “real world” student experiences. Assessment plans should seek to answer the following: - Are our students learning what we think we are teaching? - How do we know our program is meeting its objectives for student learning? - What are the indicators that our program is effective? - Can we find areas for improvement in our degree program?4

There are numerous step-by-step or phase models of assessment that help address the questions that should be answered in this process. Two examples are illustrated. Sarapin5 recommends a five phase assessment program comprised of: (1) Review program goals and objectives, (2) Identify student outcomes, (3) Validate student outcomes, (4) Administer assessment instruments, and (5) Revise program, revise courses, revise assessment methods. Strong et al.6 developed an assessment model with the following steps: (1) Agree on the mission of the program, (2) Identify the program outcomes, (3) Articulate the outcomes and the curriculum, (4) Brainstorm, evaluate and select appropriate measures of student learning for each outcome, (5) Develop an assessment plan for collecting the data, (6) Collect and analyze data which documents student achievement of these outcomes, (7) Use data to improve curriculum and program processes to improve student learning, and (8) Communicate results of outcomes assessment process.

“Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2006, American Society for Engineering Education”

Boser, R., & Stier, K. (2006, June), Outcome Assessment And Accreditation Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--252

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015