June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.972.1 - 24.972.20
Paths to Accreditation: ABET and the Washington AccordWe start with the premise that accreditation accomplishes two purposes for engineering degreeprograms. First, accreditation improves the quality of programs. Second, accreditation certifiesthe quality of programs. Both purposes support the goals of students by ensuring high qualityeducation and by ensuring the ability of students to use their degree to obtain employment as anengineer, entrance to a graduate program, and eventually the ability to become a licensedengineer.In the US, engineering accreditation is provided by ABET (www.abet.org). By the WashingtonAccord (WA), 15 such bodies bilaterally recognize each other’s engineering accreditation.An engineering program in a country not covered by the WA can choose one of two paths: 1. Develop its own body for engineering accreditation and then seek recognition in the WA, or 2. Seek accreditation for the program through an existing organization (such as ABET).In this paper we examine these two paths in order to determine what factors have influenced andshould influence the decision between these two paths. Such factors include: The country’s historical orientation toward some specific county, through colonization or education. For example, many Mexican faculty have degrees from the US. Other cultural traditions regarding education, engineering, and nationalism. The relative costs and benefits of the two approaches. ABET accreditation is costly, but developing an accrediting body is a long, and perhaps costly, path also. The relative strengths of each approach in providing national and international opportunities for engineering graduates. The relative strengths of each approach in attracting students to study engineering. The importance of establishing an engineering infrastructure in the country. An accrediting body usually works closely with engineering societies, which, in turn, provide other sorts of support for growing the engineering profession and for growing the national economy.
Fraser, J. M., & Teran, A., & Pham, H. T. (2014, June), Paths to Accreditation Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22905
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