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Outcomes Oriented Abet Accreditation: Mechanisms For Review And Feedback

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Assessment & Quality; Accreditation in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.982.1 - 10.982.14



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Paper Authors

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David Anthony

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C. Richard Helps

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Barry Lunt

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

Outcomes-Oriented ABET Accreditation: Mechanisms for Review and Feedback C. Richard G. Helps, David K. Anthony, Barry M. Lunt Brigham Young University


Over the last few years EAC and TAC ABET-accredited programs have converted their accreditation requirements to an outcomes-oriented approach rather than a topic-hours approach. CAC-ABET is now following suit for computer-oriented programs.

Information Technology programs seeking to accredit through CAC have a few special challenges relating to several factors changing in recent years as the Computer-Science Accreditation Board (CSAB) has evolved into CAC and IT has been created. This paper describes methods developed for a four-year IT program to pursue accreditation using new CAC guidelines and new accreditation requirements and to create and set up appropriate feedback mechanisms for continuous quality improvement, while considering the several new factors related to accrediting in this new and constantly evolving discipline.

Key issues in creating the appropriate structure for accreditation include setting goals related to institutional and college goals, choosing measurable outcomes, relating outcomes to teaching, measuring outcomes and using outcomes to modify both program structure and even to modify goals and outcomes. A significant challenge for all such programs is measuring the outcomes graduates of the program have achieved. How do you measure the outcomes a new discipline achieves with its graduates? Many programs have been and still are in transition. How do you obtain credible feedback as to whether the program meets the defined objectives especially if the standards are still evolving? How does a program use this feedback to modify the program and the objectives so that changes add value to future graduates?

CAC programs have traditionally also had a “model curriculum” which, while not officially part of the accreditation criteria, creates expectations for computer-oriented programs.

This paper will discuss how these key issues are related and present organizational mechanisms for completing these requirements.

1. Introduction

Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving learning.... When it is embedded effectively within larger institutional systems, assessment can help us focus our collective attention, examine our assumptions, and create a shared academic culture dedicated to assuring and improving the quality of higher education....Thomas A. Angelo, Director of the Assessment Forum, American Association for Higher Education1

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Anthony, D., & Helps, C. R., & Lunt, B. (2005, June), Outcomes Oriented Abet Accreditation: Mechanisms For Review And Feedback Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14633

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