June 28, 1998
June 28, 1998
July 1, 1998
3.446.1 - 3.446.18
Planning for Curriculum Renewal and Accreditation Under ABET Engineering Criteria 2000
Michael S. Leonard, Donald E. Beasley, Katherine E. Scales, Clemson University
and D. Jack Elzinga University of Florida
This paper presents a set of integrated methodologies for the enhancement of engineering academic programs and for preparation for accreditation review under ABET Engineering Criteria 2000. The Curriculum Renewal Methodology builds on a base of strategic planning, and provides alternative approaches for analysis of the content of existing curricula and the development of new curricula. The Accreditation Preparation Methodology builds upon the selection of program objectives for an engineering program and moves through selection of outcomes, outcome indicators and criteria, and the development of systematic processes for program assessment and improvement. The development of these methodologies was sponsored by the NSF funded SUCCEED Engineering Coalition. This paper describes software and reference guides that have been prepared to facilitate use of the methodologies, notes linkages between the two methodologies, and reports on applications of the methodologies at universities within the SUCCEED coalition.
For many years, curriculum revision and preparation for accreditation review have been two closely linked activities for the typical engineering faculty member. Two to four years before the end of an institution’s Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation cycle, program faculty would gather to determine what changes they wanted to make and have in place before the next ABET evaluation visit team came to campus. Motivations for curriculum change ranged from fear, e.g., “we must change course sequence ‘X’ in order to conform to the current ABET Criteria;” to envy, e.g., “all of Preeminent University’s engineering students take ‘Y’ and our students don’t;” to dominance, e.g., “Professor Chaired wants to add course ‘Z’ to the curriculum and that’s what we are going to do--period.” Clearly, accreditation preparation drove this type of curriculum revision, but not necessarily in the right direction and, at least arguably, not for the right reasons.
With ABET Engineering Criteria 2000, the nature of engineering accreditation has changed significantly. ABET maintains its central role of “assuring that graduates of an accredited program are prepared adequately to enter and continue the practice of engineering.”1 But now, through Criteria 2000, ABET requires:
1 Engineering Accreditation Commission, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., Engineering Criteria 2000, Second Edition, 1997.
Scales, K. E., & Leonard, M. S., & Beasley, D. E. (1998, June), Planning For Curriculum Renewal And Accreditation Under Abet Engineering Criteria 2000 Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/7344
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